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The Protect&Sustain initiative is managed through the Technical Committee of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and a steering group of industry members interested and experienced in establishing product stewardship programmes.
Enquiries concerning the p&s programme can be sent to IFA by email:
or by telephoning Volker Andresen, Protect&Sustain project co-ordinator:
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Through risk mitigation and the optimization of business processes, Product Stewardship generates a virtuous cycle of benefits for the company, its employees, community and business partners.
Workers benefit from safer working conditions. Communities and society at large are safer. The environment is better protected throughout the product lifespan. These benefits are indeed self-evident, however there are also clear business advantages as well.
Public Image: The fertilizer sector has suffered from longstanding misperceptions on a number of fronts, including a lack of acknowledgement of the key role fertilizers play in global food security. The IFA Protect&Sustain product stewardship initiative offers the industry the opportunity to demonstrate its performance in responsible production and handling of products - as well as as demonstrate the role it plays in promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
Policy: Make no mistake, increased regulation is on the rise around the world and across industries. This initiative offers participants the chance to stay one-step-ahead of costly regulation. By remaining proactive in more efficient self-regulation, the industry is acting as a trailblazer. With such an approach, the industry is driving the development of responsible, start-to-finish, product stewardship.
Bottom Line: There are convincing economic benefits to product stewardship management. Safer, more efficient workplaces and practices lead to increased productivity. Risk mitigation leads to fewer incidents, thus reducing costly remedial expenses. Furthermore, proven safe, secure and sustainable levels of business performance (supported by recognised, third party accreditation) can be advantageous in a variety of circumstances including during government and business negotiations, public relations with stakeholders and other industry partners, tendering, or attracting private investment.
IFA members with high product stewardship performance levels will be eligible for certification as an IFA Product Steward, IFA Product Steward Excellence, or European Product Steward by an independant evaluation from the programme's auditors.
Such recognition of an organization’s product stewardship proficiency may well prove to be of definite economic or competitive advantage in the future. See How Protect&Sustain works for further detail.