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

25 January 2022

Final-year Lincoln University PhD candidate Kirstin Deuss is the 2021 recipient of the NZ Society of Soil Science/Fertiliser Association of NZ Postgraduate Bursary Award.

The award recognises the efforts and present (or likely) contribution to New Zealand soil science arising from a doctorate study. It carries a $5,000 one-year stipend.

Kirstin holds a BSC in Biomedical Science from Victoria University of Wellington and an MSC in Horticultural Science from the Technical University of Munich, Free University of Bozen (Italy) and the University of Bologna.

Her postgraduate research has seen her lead a long-term field study on soil and catchment hydrology in Southland. The findings will help understand the role mole and tile drains play in Southland’s unique landscape.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of the NZSSS Fertiliser Association Postgraduate Bursary, it is an honour that I will cherish for the rest of my career,” says Kirstin. “I love working with soils and my career objective is to apply my field, research and management skills towards supporting the sustainable management of New Zealand’s soil resources.”

“My PhD has been challenging but also so rewarding, and this award is a real confidence boost as I prepare to start my new career at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in February. I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my many great mentors, friends and colleagues, who have given me so much of their time and energy to help turn ideas into reality and put it all into the written word!

 “It's truly been the best experience of my life and I am really looking forward to where it is going to take me.”

 Kirstin was nominated by Peter Almond, Associate Professor, Department of Soil and Physical Sciences at Lincoln University. He described her to the judging panel as a “highly adept scientist capable of complex quantitative analysis of soil-hydrological systems”.

“I think she is a deserving recipient.  The prestige of the award would further her goal of securing a position working professionally in soil science in New Zealand so that she can contribute to environmental sustainability of our primary industries.”

Fertiliser Association chief executive Vera Power described Kirstin’s research as “hugely important”.

“The more we can understand what’s happening in our soils and catchments, the better placed our primary sector will be to improve farm management, all while protecting the environment.”  

24 November 2021

FANZ has made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on Te hau mārohi ki anamata - Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future

The primary sector has a key role to play in helping achieve global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining food security. This requires low-emission production systems, with increased efficiencies and the use of new mitigation technologies. 

Investment in the development and adoption of new technologies requires a clear regulatory pathway to market. We will need to work internationally with trading nations and also locally with existing qualified networks within the agricultural community for the extension and adoption of new mitigations.  

You can read our submission in full here.

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