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.

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FANZ response to the High Court decision on an application for Judicial Review of decisions of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation

We would like to thank Justice Woolford for his careful consideration of the case. This case is about the investments made by the NZ Superfund, and consideration of New Zealand's supply chain for essential phosphate fertiliser.

Phosphate is an essential nutrient for growing food. The New Zealand fertiliser industry ensures that all fertiliser products are responsibly sourced. New Zealand fertiliser companies conduct their due diligence of all suppliers and monitor their performance closely. OCP, who operate the Phosbouccra mine in Western Sahara, score highly as a supplier and has been a reliable partner for decades.

We endeavour to comply with the UN guidelines on trading with non-self-governing territories, and we now welcome the clarity of Judge Woolford's findings in terms of New Zealand law.

From our perspective the applicant appears to have tried to use the Court for a political purpose, which has cost the New Zealand taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars. By dismissing the case, the Court has clearly recognised the case had no legal merit. In particular Justice Woolford notes that use of judicial proceedings in this way has been characterised as "lawfare".

We feel assured that the careful work the industry has done to-date has been recognised by the Court. We will continue to engage carefully in our due diligence activities and are always looking for ways to improve.

While thousands of Saharawi working for and with OCP benefit from that company's operations, there are others who do not. This is why we continue to support the UN in its efforts to resolve this complex geopolitical dispute.

You can read the Guardians of NZ Superannuation comment on the High Court judgement here and download the full judgment report here.

Vera Power
Chief Executive
Fertiliser Association of New Zealand

Additional information

Further information on how New Zealand's fertiliser industry sources phosphate can be found at https://www.sourcingphosphate.nz/Site/sourcing-phosphate/

Background on the judicial review

The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation is the Crown entity that manages investments for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The Polisario Front, a Western Sahara freedom movement, filed papers in the High Court to stop the New Zealand Superannuation Fund from investing in the disputed North African territory claimed by Morocco. The Polisario made the following claims:

  • The Guardians investment framework is unlawful.
  • The Guardians failed to meet their obligations for responsible investment, which has created prejudice to New Zealand's reputation. This is based on the Fund's exposure to Western Sahara through its investment in farms using phosphate rock from Western Sahara, investment in other companies operating in Western Sahara, and bonds in OCP.

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

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.


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.”  

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