Moscow – PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, is the first company in Russia to pass an assessment for compliance with the requirements of the national standard for improved production, enabling the Company to use eco-labels on its products.
This was announced at Russia’s largest agribusiness exhibition, Golden Autumn.
Certificates with serial numbers 1, 2 and 3 were issued to PhosAgro’s Cherepovets, Volkhov and Balakovo production sites, respectively. Thus, all of the mineral fertilizers produced at PhosAgro enterprises have been certified for compliance with the Russian national standard GOST R 58658-2019, which introduces the most stringent restrictions in the world on heavy metals and arsenic in fertilizers. This confirms the extraordinary eco-efficiency of PhosAgro products, which can now be labelled as a green brand.
Federal Law No-159-FZ of 11 June 2021 on Agricultural Products, Raw Materials and Foodstuffs with Improved Characteristics, which will enter into force in March 2022, was prepared in accordance with the instruction of Russian President of Vladimir Putin and established the regulatory framework for the creation of a Russian brand of products and raw materials with improved characteristics. Products with the features covered by this new, green segment will stand apart from similar products in global markets. The requirements for products labelled with the green brand cover all stages of production, from fields to packaging.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Golden Autumn exhibition, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Viktoria Abramchenko noted that agricultural products with improved characteristics, along with organic products, should become a key focus of exports for Russian agribusiness. Russia would thus be able to use the unique competitive advantage provided by its natural resources, including land resources.
“Agricultural enterprises and farmers can identify themselves as producers of improved products only if they use the most harmless fertilizers and crop protection agents – that is, if they minimise environmental harm. These are precisely the metrics that Roskachestvo takes into account when certifying companies for green labelling. Experts study not only consumer properties but also farming conditions and production processes. I would like to emphasise that the new law does not apply to products labelled ‘natural’, ‘eco’ or ‘bio’. These terms are not equivalent to ‘green’ labelling; moreover, their use is often just a marketing technique, ‘green camouflage’ on the part of dishonest producers,” said the head of Roskachestvo, Maxim Protasov.
PhosAgro is playing an active role in the creation of a new green platform for improved agricultural products and foodstuffs. At the end of 2019, Andrey Guryev, President of the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association (RFPA) and CEO of PhosAgro, launched an initiative to create a club of green producers, which was approved by the members of the RFPA. In August 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture, Roskachestvo, agribusiness associations and producers, agricultural universities and retailers held a kick-off meeting regarding the creation of an association that would deal with implementation of the new law and development of the market for improved products.
PhosAgro actively supports research and development related to the creation of eco-efficient fertilizers. Since last year, PhosAgro has been collaborating with Innopraktika to create new biologicals for intensive and sustainable green agriculture. PhosAgro is taking part in the Innagro project, where industrial tests of Russian biologicals are carried out, including biological crop protection agents and starter cultures for feed production. The combined use of PhosAgro fertilizers with agents from the Innagro project will improve soil health, increase yields and reduce crop diseases. In addition, PhosAgro is collaborating with the Russian Academy of Sciences to create innovative new brands of eco-efficient mineral fertilizers.
Commenting on the certification of PhosAgro fertilizers and confirmation of their improved status, the Company’s CEO noted: “Experts from Roskachestvo did a great deal of work at PhosAgro’s facilities, where they thoroughly checked feedstocks, the production process and the environmental impact of production. It is very important for us that we were the first company to pass an assessment for compliance with the requirements of the national standard for improved mineral fertilizers. This confirms the exceptional eco-efficiency of our mineral fertilizers and the fact that they are a more environmentally friendly option for sustainable agricultural and food production.
“PhosAgro’s improved mineral fertilizers will now take their place at the head of an emerging traceability chain for improved agricultural production. The start of the certification process will serve as the basis for implementation of the initiative of the Russian President to create a market for improved products, and it will be the first important step in the practical implementation of the corresponding law.
“The creation of a new green segment will have a very positive impact on the quality of life of Russians, increasing awareness on the part of both farmers and end consumers of the true quality of available products and also making domestic producers more competitive in international markets. The green platform will ensure that Russia plays a leading role in the transition to sustainable agriculture and food systems.”
PhosAgro is the main producer of improved complex phosphate-based mineral fertilizers in Russia. As the leader in terms of total supplies in the Russian market, PhosAgro ensures oversight of the entire production cycle, from the extraction of environmentally friendly apatite-nepheline ore to the processing of phosphate rock and the production of improved mineral fertilizers.