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

30 September 2021

We recently submitted evidence to the Environment Select Committee on proposals to ban nitrogen fertiliser.

11 August 2021

Creating tools to assist farmers to make the right choice on nutrient management is a long and sometimes expensive process. The Fertiliser Association is committed to a journey of enabling New Zealand farmers to meet their goals for profitability and heightened environmental responsibility.

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