The UKs fertiliser industry can be proud oftaking the lead in its commitment to the environment and climate change as wellas fertiliser safety at national and European level, said Roger Brogden,Chairman of the Agricultural Industries Confederations Fertiliser Sector.
Mr Brogden told the Fertiliser Sector annualdinner how AIC is looking five years ahead to pre-empt policies that couldhamper the efficient use of fertilisers in UK agriculture and help shapepractical solutions.
He cited three key areas. First,environmental standards where ever more sensitive analytical equipment candetect the most minute traces of impurity.
We need to take the lead to ensure thatlimits are matched to specific need, said Mr Brogden.
Second, the recovery of phosphorus, one ofthe worlds scarcest resources.
As an industry, we will be pressing forways to recover phosphorus in forms that the fertiliser industry can utilisefor plant nutrition, he said.
Third, greenhouse gas targets to 2050 putthe industry already tasked with producing more, whilst emitting less underever greater pressure.
Next year will see the whole farmingindustry bring together leading experts from academia and industry to assesswhat is technically feasible. We will be shaping our destiny by taking expertopinion to help state clearly what can and what cannot be achieved.
The issue of fertiliser security has onceagain risen up the policy agenda as a result of the tragic events at the Westfertiliser business in Texas.
In the UK, the Fertiliser Industry AssuranceScheme (FIAS) has ensured rigorous safety and security in the supply chain,right up to the farm gate. Now the challenge is to extend professionalstandards on to UK farms.
I dont want to be alarmist, but manyfarming families sleep close to far larger quantities of fertiliser than causedthe devastating Texas explosion, said Mr Brogden.
I welcome the increased collaborationbetween Red Tractor and the farming unions to address the challenges of farmstorage. I also welcome the inclusion of questions to explore farmersattitudes to safety and security in the British Survey of Fertiliser Practice.
Mr Brogden told delegates that the AICfertiliser sector is in good heart, despite the challenges it faces. Theefforts of staff and members alike ensures AIC is well placed to take a positivelead in developing initiatives and practical solutions, rather than reacting toless considered, onerous regulations.