Thursday, May 23, 2019

Anti-terrorism rules to hit fertiliser sector

November 5, 2011 by  
Filed under News & Business

TERRORISM threats have propelled the issue of fertiliser security up the political agenda, industry leaders in London were told.

Fertiliser security, environment protection and the need to feed a growing world are the three key challenges facing the sector, said Mike Buchan, fertiliser sector chairman for the Agricultural Industries Confederation.

The Oslo bombing in early summer had placed fertiliser security ñ especially for ammonium nitrate ñ high on government agendas across the European Union, Mr Buchan told the Annual Fertiliser Sector Dinner at the Institute of Directors, London.

The UK had been well-placed to respond, thanks to the industry’s widespread uptake of the Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme (FIAS), said Mr Buchan, even though there had been those who questioned the value of the initiative.

“Let me assure you that when questions flow naturally from incidents such as Oslo, the established presence of FIAS is an essential basis for a constructive dialogue with government and the security services. In essence, FIAS is the right scheme in the right place at the right time.”

However, there would undoubtedly be some form of European regulation of fertiliser security, Mr Buchan added. The AIC would actively campaign to protect the established strength and international standing that FIAS had secured, he said.

Addressing the challenge of “sustainable intensification”, which  emerged from the Foresight Report produced by Professor Sir John Beddington, Mr Buchan said the fertiliser sector could be proud of what has been achieved.

The industry had made massive investments to shrink its carbon footprint throughout the manufacture and distribution processes in the UK and across the EU. This should be taken into account when farmers were looking at the products they purchase.

Mr Buchanan asked: “Could I suggest that products manufactured to stringent environmental standards may be worthy of a small premium?”

The fertiliser sector had made a significant contribution to the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, drawn up by AIC and other farming and landowning bodies. It had also contributed to initiatives such as the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and Catchment Sensitive Farming.

But the time may be right to look at more holistic campaigns and advisory packages to meet the needs of the farming industry. “If a farmer has to address all these issues, the least we can do is advise him in a more joined up way,” said Mr Buchan.

Despite the challenges of security and regulation, it must not be forgotten that the primary purpose of fertiliser wsa to boost output and help farmers feed a growing world population. Fertiliser suppliers were continually investing in know-how and passing that knowledge on to farmers.

“Fertiliser remains a vital foundation on which those charged with delivery food securing along with environmental protection must build. Through our research, development and advisory networks, we have a right to be recognised and respected as professionals.”

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