Royal Grass, ‘the most natural-looking synthetic turf’
What began as a spin-off from TenCate Grass has in eleven years grown into an international company in synthetic turf for landscaping. Emiel Arts and Freek Verhoeven, both director-owners of Landscape Solutions, have a clear mission: ‘Our objective is to produce the most natural-looking synthetic turf in the world’.
Landscape Solutions concentrates mainly on private individuals and secondly on companies and public sector bodies, in the middle and high segment. The company obtains its synthetic turf fibres, backing and root zone from TenCate Grass. Production of the synthetic turf systems is carried out in Genemuiden (NL), while supervision takes place in Uden, as do marketing and sales. For research and development the company works in collaboration with the Grass group.
Emiel Arts (left) and Freek Verhoeven
‘We grew up with TenCate and we have remained in the family when it comes to R&D and components’, explain Emiel Arts and Freek Verhoeven. ‘We are a good sounding board for each other. Together we look at developments in the landscaping market and the dynamics in that market and we think about how we can tackle things together in a smarter way.’
Royal Grass® fibre, inspired by nature, is, just like GreenSource and the 3D weaving of football synthetic turf, one of the results of this joint development and collaboration. The patented V-shape ensures a flexible grass fibre that remains upright longer than grass fibres without this shape. More important for the market is the fact that fibres with this V-shape most resemble natural blades of grass.
Synthetic turf at the golf course
The company works exclusively for the landscaping market, or as they say, ‘We have nothing to do with white lines’. This has consequences for the fibres. ‘Other synthetic turf fibres are primarily functional because they have to be suitable for certain sports’, Emiel Arts and Freek Verhoeven explain. ‘For us it is primarily the aesthetic aspects that count. But we look further than just the decorative and practical value of the synthetic turf; we also consider the location and climatological conditions to be important parameters. Depending on these factors, we give an eight- to eleven-year guarantee on UV resistance. You can run around and cavort on our synthetic turf and slip on it without any adverse effects.’
At the El Corte Inglés department store in Alicante (Spain)
The market for landscaping is growing, the acceptance of synthetic turf is increasing and ever more attention is being paid to quality and environmental aspects. This is partly because many people are becoming familiar with synthetic turf for both top-level and recreational sports, and partly because they are seeing ever more synthetic turf being laid in gardens, on roof terraces, motorway central reservations and roundabouts. People want a lawn that is easy to maintain, doesn’t need to be sprayed, looks natural, is sustainably produced and is soft to the touch. The same applies to where local authorities are cutting costs on maintaining greenery and on water wastage and for countries with a short growing season. Durable, bright green synthetic turf is a visually attractive and distinctive aspect of infrastructure and in urbanization.
The Amphitheatre of the Floriade 2012 in Venlo (NL)
‘New entrants to the market often include companies that have a carpet mentality’, is something they have both learned from experience. ‘These companies do little work on development and innovation, and consequently, the product can become a commodity, putting pressure on prices and margins. We are going against the current of the market. We don’t supply an outdoor carpet, but rather a synthetic turf pitch that is installed, tailored to the wishes of the end-users. We are constantly striving to improve our products, with the aim of marketing the most natural-looking synthetic turf in the world.’ Landscape Solutions selects specialized, passionate dealers, because professional installation also determines the quality and lifespan of the end product.
A large traffic roundabout with integrated LED lighting in Sweden
'Each installation is a marketing flag. We aim to monitor the quality of the entire value chain, up to and including installation at the customer’s premises. Together we often look at the the installation, and at how people react, thus giving us direct contact with the end-user.’ Raising the bar even higher In its efforts to achieve quality and ‘the most natural-looking synthetic turf in the world’, Landscape Solutions clearly sees a role for itself. As an example the two mention GreenFields, which has raised the bar even higher with its MX for football and TX for hockey. ‘This ensures a perfect system for excellent performance and achievements. A system that has been professionally developed, produced, marketed and installed to a high standard. Other parties then link up more readily. We have a similar function in the landscaping market.’