A survey conducted at the NZGFA 60th Annual Conference in July shows overwhelming support for the Spreadmark accreditation scheme. When asked about the programme, nearly 94% of survey participants agreed that Spreadmark is ‘a great industry initiative’. Additional comments called for more promotion of it. This compares to just over 3% who said Spreadmark was ‘unnecessary’ and another 3% who did not tick any box.
Interestingly, the survey shows that 81% of participants indicated they were Spreadmark registered. Of the 19% who were not, reasons for not registering included customers don’t ask for certification; customers are happy without it; it adds extra cost; and ‘I don’t see the need’.
When questioned about the benefits of the scheme, the most popular response given by just under 85% was that it gave groundspreaders the satisfaction that, under the scheme, they were doing the best job possible. 69% said their customers wanted an accurate job done. Just over 30% believed Spreadmark gave them a competitive edge over non-registered spreaders. And 15% said that their customers always ask if they are Spreadmark certified.
Commenting on this, NZGFA President Brent Scully, said, “We understand that customers don’t always ask about Spreadmark because typically groundspreaders build up great relationships with their customers over many years. This means that often there’s mutual trust and understanding that the spreading job will be done well, whether Spreadmark accreditation is in place or not. This is fine until farms change hands or groundspreaders move on – and until new managers ask for certification or new, less scrupulous, spreaders move into the area.
“My advice to everyone in the industry would be to ensure you are registered with Spreadmark as this gives your credibility authentification. If you do a job well, why not get the certificate to verify the fact – and take advantage of all the other benefits that go with certification too?
The survey also showed that groundspreaders prefer broadcast media, Radio and TV, to newspapers and magazines – however, preferred to read newspapers and magazines over reading digital versions. Interestingly, 50% said they read Groundspread magazine from cover to cover.
When asked about social media, over 65% of respondents said they used it – with the most popular network being Facebook, followed by Instagram.
Participants who entered an email address were all put into a prize draw. Congratulations goes to Stephen Whitehead, Regional Manager of Ravensdown in South Otago. Stephen wins a Spreadmark Audit Voucher (valued at $600).