Summer 2009
Industry News

Natural Stone Council Expanding Market for Natural Stone Products

The Natural Stone Council (NSC), a collaborative organization representing business and trade associations serving the natural stone industry, has announced the development of what will be a congressionally authorized “check-off” program, an industry-funded research and promotion effort aimed at expanding the market for natural stone in the United States and increase demand of natural stone products.

Other industries, including avocado producers, cotton farmers, the pork industry and milk producers have experienced tremendous success through similar programs.

“Our goal is to increase the understanding of, preference for and consumption of natural stone,” said Gary Distelhorst, chairman of the NSC’s Check-off Committee. “Our current marketing efforts aren’t sustainable based solely on the generous donations of industry members, so we are seeking a way to fairly fund research and promotion of natural stone that will benefit us all.”

Revenue from the program would be administered and approved by the government-appointed Natural Stone Research & Promotion Board. This group would be representative of all industry segments, including importers, and would be responsible for allocating funds and approving business and marketing plans.

To move the program forward, Congress must pass special legislation to authorize a check-off program for natural stone. Ideally, the check-off program will be implemented by early 2010, the NSC says. MD