Fertilizers Europe represents the major fertilizer manufacturers in Europe. This Brussels-based association focuses on the latest developments in the industry and on solutions with respect to agriculture, the environment and natural resources.
In September 2003, Fertilizers Europe created its Product Stewardship programme in order to improve safety, health and environmental aspects associated with the production, storage, distribution and use of fertilizers.
The reasons for launching this programme were:
• to take responsibility for the product through the value chain from raw materials to end use;
• to meet public demands for openness and communication;
• to share experiences and knowledge;
• to provide a good structure for setting up product stewardship at company level.
Total commitment to these principles is core to its membership requirements. The Product Stewardship programme is mandatory for Fertilizers Europe members and is audited by an independent global certification body.
When IFA launched its own product stewardship Initiative, Protect and Sustain, in 2010, the two associations saw an opportunity to cooperate closely. This cooperation has led to an agreement that the European Product Stewardship scheme will be integrated into IFA’s global Protect and Sustain programme at the highest level.
Each member of Fertilizers Europe, after a successful audit, automatically qualifies for IFA’s top-ranking certificate. And thanks to this cooperation, all IFA members now have the possibility to attain certification according to the leading European Product Stewardship standard.
The latest audit was performed in 2011 by DNV Auditing Services. It included all members of Fertilizers Europe. In recognition of the value of this programme, Fertilizers Europe presented Product Stewardship certificates to its members during the Board Meeting on 8 March of this year. Ben Muirheid, IFA’s Technical Director responsible for the Association’s Protect and Sustain programme, participated in the ceremony.