Farms get safety codes, and soaring costs
The fertiliser sector has been working closely with counter terrorism to ensure products are made, transported and stored to the highest safety standards. Guidance leaflets have been produced and codes for on-farm storage promoted. Work is also well advanced to provide an assurance scheme for fertiliser from production plant to field. But it’s not only terrorism that is perceived a danger. Phenomenal costs are also threatening their survival, according to Stuart Beer, chairman of the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Fertiliser Sector.
“The past year has seen considerable effort from both the UK’s fertiliser manufacturing and distribution sectors to satisfy government on issues such as security, assurance and sustainable use, says Stuart Beer.“Last year, government specifically requested AIC to introduce a fertiliser industry assurance scheme to address stewardship, traceability and safety. A working group is in place and working flat out to meet government’s request to have a scheme in place by the end of the year, said Beer.
He also points out how soaring energy costs have pushed fertiliser prices to record highs.“Manufacturers cannot recover these phenomenal costs from a customer base under the economic pressure that Britain’s farmers currently face. If we are to survive and attract investment, we need government to ensure we are on a level playing field with the rest of Europe.