Farmers and the fertilizer industry work to produce food while protecting the environment. Both share a close relationship to land and water resources, and with this relationship comes a special responsibility to practice stewardship. Environmental stewardship involves using available resources in a way that offers greater societal benefits and fewer adverse consequences. Fertilizer manufacturers and retailers demonstrate their commitment to product safety, worker health and safety and nutrient stewardship through a number of initiatives.
Fertilizers Are Safe
For those who manufacture and sell fertilizer, a commitment to stewardship also means ensuring that these products are safe to use. To ensure worker, farmer and community safety, leaders in the fertilizer industry have conducted extensive product safety tests on all major fertilizer products. Designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these testing procedures assess chemicals to determine any potential negative impact on human and environmental health. EPA and the United Nations Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have accepted the results of these tests, which demonstrate that fertilizers pose little risk to people and the environment when used as directed.
Worker Health and Safety
Fertilizer manufacturers, transporters and retailers are committed to worker safety. They express this commitment by implementing health and safety management systems that often exceed national and international standards.
Nutrient Stewardship in the Field
In addition to ensuring worker and community safety, the fertilizer industry is committed to promoting nutrient stewardship in farm fields around the world. Working with scientists and other agriculture stakeholders in private industry and government, the fertilizer industry is promoting 4R nutrient stewardship as the means to manage fertilizer use in a sustainable manner. The 4Rs address the use of the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. All components of this system are completely interconnected and linked to a full set of management practices designed for specific cropping systems and local, site-specific soil, weather and climate conditions.