Ensuring employees’ health and safety vital for European fertilizer producers to continue operating and helping EU farmers ensure longer-term food security
Brussels, 2 April 2020: European fertilizer producers are committed to maintain operations in these challenging times to ensure timely delivery of quality nutrients to EU farmers, thus helping safeguard food security for the next season. To this end, ensuring employees’ health and safety is vital. We count on policymakers and regulatory bodies to help agri-food chain secure appropriate protection of workers as well as address legal bottlenecks that impair industry operations.
Fertilizer sector is committed to playing its part in ensuring long-term food security in Europe. Without fertilizers available for the farmers in the spring, there will be too little food and fibre available for all EU citizens in the next season. European fertilizer producers’ ability to provide quality nutrients to farmers across the EU depends on the preservation of the EU Single Market.
In this context, Fertilizers Europe welcomed the European Commission Guidelines aimed at ensuring continuous flow of goods, including agricultural inputs, across EU via the so-called green lanes. Jacob Hansen, Director General of Fertilizers Europe said "We thank the European Commission for their efforts to ensure a functioning of the agri-food supply chain across the Single Market. We urge Member States to apply without a delay these guidelines, recognising agricultural inputs including fertilizers as essential and undertaking actions to address issues that hinder our operations to enable our industry play its part in ensuring long-term food security”.
Industry’s ability to maintain its operations is also dependent on industry’s capacity to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its employees. Jacob Hansen said that “human health is a main concern for our members. Guaranteeing protection for labour operating in vital sectors is key. Urgent action is needed to put in place relevant, tailor-made health and safety measures and ensure supply of protective equipment and testing tools for our employees, both on production sites and logistics”.
To keep transport moving, it is also necessary to safeguard the free movement of all workers involved in international transport while at the same time ensuring their safety (i.e. implementing enhanced hygiene and operational measures at ports and land transport hubs).
Fertilizers Europe stands ready to take part in dialogue with policy makers to manage the difficulties that the COVID-19 represent for EU agricultural sector in general and fertilizer industry in particular.
Notes for editors :
1. European Commission Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services - LINK
2. New practical advice on how to implements its Guidelines for border management - LINK
Lukasz Pasterski Communications Manager
T: +32 2 66 33 144 M: +32 474 98 26 45
About Fertilizers Europe
Fertilizers Europe represents the majority of fertilizer producers in Europe and is recognized as the dedicated industry source of information on mineral fertilizers. The Association communicates with a wide variety of institutions, legislators, stakeholders and members of the public who seek information on fertilizer technology and topics relating to today’s agricultural, environmental and economic challenges.