Feeding the world’s growing population

New Zealand’s reputation as a quality food producer is growing.

Optimising food production

Over the next 50 years farmers around the world will need to produce more food than has been grown over the past 10,000 years.

Best use from a limited resource

Fertiliser helps farmers produce food efficiently by replenishing the soil. But fertiliser needs to be used responsibly.

Responsible and sustainable nutrient management

The Fertiliser Association invests in research and tools to ensure farm profitability while minimising nutrient losses to the environment.

The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand promotes and encourages responsible and scientifically-based nutrient management.

Read more

Appendix 2: Industry Programmes

Industry programmes have been developed to promote improved nutrient management, some of which are listed below.


Fertmark is an independently assessed fertiliser and lime quality assurance programme run by the Fertiliser Quality Council. It provides quality assurance on the claimed nutrient content of each Fertmark registered fertiliser product. Independent audits are made on product quality and the quality systems of the participating fertiliser or lime companies.

Fertmark registered manufacturers, importers and suppliers also have an advertising code of conduct, so they should be able to verify the claims they make about the products they sell. The bright green Fertmark tick stands for fertiliser quality assurance.

Spreadmark: Code of Practice for the Placement of Fertiliser in New Zealand

The Spreadmark Code of Practice for the Placement of Fertiliser in New Zealand enables farmers and land managers to get the best value for their fertiliser dollar through a fertiliser placement quality assurance programme. Like Fertmark, it is also administered by the Fertiliser Quality Council. There are two sections to the Spreadmark programme. One applies to ground spreading and another to aerial topdressing.

Spreadmark: Groundspreading

The Spreadmark programme was established by the NZ Ground Spread Fertilisers Association in 1994. It was subsequently expanded by a group with representatives from Federated Farmers, the NZGFA, fertiliser companies and The Fertiliser Asscociation, and came under the Fertiliser Quality Council by 2002.

It has as its objective the placement of fertilisers in locations where they can be of the most agricultural benefit and the least environmental harm. The scheme registers spreading companies provided they have certified spreading machinery that can operate with accuracy within defined bout widths, trained operators and an appropriate quality management system which ensures that farmer/land manager outcomes are met and environmental sustainability is protected. Overall systems are subject to an independent audit.

Spreadmark: Aerial Application

In June 2006 the Fertiliser Quality Council introduced a programme for aerial applicators (fixed wing and rotary) of fertiliser. This was developed with the NZ Agricultural Aviation Association. The Spreadmark module can be completed as part of the NZAAA Accreditation Programme. Like the ground spreaders, aerial companies must have an active quality management programme, have spreading test patterns for their equipment, and competent operators. The programme assists in the management of risks, and has traceability of the application.

Code of Practice for the Management of Nutrient Solutions Released from Greenhouses

This Code is designed for the management of nutrient solutions associated with soil-less production of vegetables and flowers in modern greenhouses – in particular, it addresses responsible discharge of nutrient-rich solution which may reach ground or surface water.

Nitrates are the principal nutrients addressed by the Code which aims to:

  • assist in management decisions
  • retain access to international markets as part of a quality assurance scheme
  • help growers to meet their responsibilities under the RMA.

Three main sections include -

  • design and operation of a soil-less system
  • solution collection and storage
  • fact sheets with information, figures, calculations and tables for assessing viable options for nutrients stored and discharged

Clean Streams Accord

The Accord promotes sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand. It focuses on reducing the impacts of dairying on the quality of New Zealand streams, rivers, lakes, ground water and wetlands.

Market Focused

An environmental management system for New Zealand dairy farmers. Market Focused assists dairy farmers meet their industry requirements.


The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and Dairy NZ funded development of the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP). This industry-wide certification aims to ensure that advisers have the learning, experience and capability to give sound nutrient advice.

Find out more

7 September 2022

The 2022 AgriTechNZ Baseline of Digital Adoption in Primary Industries report was released in August.

Created as part of a study by AgriTechNZ and insights partner Research First, the report was co-designed with partners The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, Zespri, The Foundation of Arable Research and DairyNZ. It was also supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures initiative (SFFF).

The 60-page report looks at digital adoption, including key drivers and barriers across the dairy, horticulture, arable and beef/sheep sectors.

You can download the report here.

6 July 2022

The British Society of Soil Science has published a research article in the Soil Use and Management Journal detailing the latest analysed data from the long-running Winchmore Fertiliser Trial in Canterbury.

The paper was written by Driss Touhami of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University. Touhami is also a member of the AgrioBioSciences Program, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Ben Guerir, Morocco.

The paper, titled "Effects of long-term phosphorus fertilizer inputs and seasonal conditions on organic soil phosphorus cycling under grazed pasture", was co-authored by Leo Condron Richard McDowell and Ray Moss.  The report can be viewed here.

Read more about the long-running Winchmore trial on the FANZ website here.

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