The building of an effective partnership or collaboration between a fertilizer supplier and its customers, suppliers, hauliers, distributors, and others involved in the supply chain is a key aspect of Product Stewardship. The ultimate objective is to extend the recognition of the positive contribution of Product Stewardship to all those involved in the supply chain. This also applies to the contacts with the authorities and regulators, and with the scientific community, to ensure that the information being used for the development of regulations and information to the general public are based on science and correct risk assessment.

Fertilizers Europe recommends its members to collaborate widely and actively with all external parties involved in supplying, handling and using fertilizers and with authorities and the scientific community. Make use of Fertilizers Europe Best Practice Guidelines in the communication. Examples of partnerships include:

  • Partnership with emergency services:
    Members of Fertilizers Europe should build up a partnership with the emergency services. In some case this is mandatory, for example to discuss emergency plans for Seveso sites. In other cases a proactive approach is to be preferred, e.g. with port authorities.
  • Partnership with suppliers:
    Work with suppliers so that raw materials, products and services meet required quality and SHE standards and, where appropriate, include these considerations in purchasing policies.
  • Partnership with contractors:
    Select and work with contractors for meeting the required SHE standards and for continually improving them.
  • Partnership with customers, resellers and other downstream users:
    Work with customers, resellers and other downstream users to foster safe storage, use, handling, and correct treatment of non-conforming materials. Provide training on specific products where needed. Actively seek feedback on customer storage, handling and use of products. Learn from their experience and revise product design, information and advice as appropriate. Review the feedback and develop improvement action plans.
  • Haulier companies:
    Establish good relationships with haulier companies to ensure compliance with legal requirements (UN recommendations, ADR, RID, etc).
  • Partnership with other industries:
    Link with other industries to exchange and generate information on product risks and SHE management. Typically, this includes:

    • EU National fertilizer associations
    • International Fertilizer Association (IFA)
    • The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)
    • The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI)
    • International Fertilizer Society (IFS)
    • International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC)
    • International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)
    • The Sulphur Institute (TSI)
    • Ammonium Nitrate Nitric Acid Producers Group (ANNA)
    • Ammonia Safety Symposium of AIChE
    • The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)
    • The European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA)

  • Partnership with authorities:
    Be proactive and participate in discussions with international agencies, national competent authorities and local regulatory bodies on Product Stewardship, seeking to promote a balanced judgment between the SHE, scientific, economic and practical arguments. Fertilizers Europe regularly discusses proposals for the new EU legislation with the European Commission, Members of the Council and Members of the Parliament. Fertilizers Europe seeks a well balanced legislation where the community takes proper account of SHE aspects as well as the social and economic impacts.
  • Partnership with the scientific community:
    Companies should try to achieve a balanced judgement between SHE, scientific, economic and practical arguments. In this context, the scientific base of the arguments is essential and good contacts with the scientific community should be established. Examples are (amongst many others):

    • Contacts with Universities, such as Martin Luther University Halle Wittenburg: The Fertilizers Europe project "Energy Recovery by Crops in Dependence of the Input of Mineral Fertilizers"
    • Contacts with Research Institutes such as Rothamsted Research UK, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Research (TNO), NOTOX Safety & Environmental Research, Ghent University (Department of Soil management and Soil care) in Belgium, Levington Agriculture Ltd in UK, V.T.T., the Technical Research Centre of Finland, Nutrient Management Institute in Wageningen in NL