Berlin – PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading producers of phosphate-based fertilizers, presented its eco-label for Russian mineral fertilizers to participants and visitors to Russia’s national exhibit at Green Week 2020, held in Berlin on 17–26 January.
The eco-label is a Russian mark of conformity with national standards for environmentally friendly mineral fertilizers. The eco-label is one aspect of the Green Standard national brand, which was first introduced to the agricultural community during the Golden Autumn 2019 exhibition.
“In every country involved in intensive crop production and where farmers are concerned about natural resources and are taking steps to ensure that their products are free of impurities, Russian mineral fertilizers will now be distinguished not only by their effectiveness but also by a label that indicates their Russian origin and, consequently, their excellent environmental performance,” said PhosAgro Deputy CEO for Sales and Marketing, Sergey Pronin, who is also a member of the Management Board of the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association. “Promoting a particular group of mineral fertilizers with proven environmental performance in Western markets will help solidify Russia’s reputation in the international arena as a producer and exporter of environmentally friendly products.”
The emergence of eco-labelling in Russia is associated with a global trend that has seen the introduction of more stringent standards concerning levels of toxic elements in mineral fertilizers, primarily cadmium. Following years of debate, the European Union decided in 2019 to bar the sale of phosphate-based fertilizers with more than 60 milligrams of cadmium per kilogram of P2O5, starting in 2022. At the same time, the new rules stipulate that mineral fertilizers in which cadmium levels do not exceed 20 mg/kg of P2O5 can be marked with a special indicator of environmental conformity.
Russia’s new federal standard for environmentally friendly mineral fertilizers establishes more stringent requirements for mineral fertilizers than the EU regulations. In particular, the maximum level of cadmium is 20 mg/kg of P2O5. It is important to note that Russian methods for determining the heavy metal content of mineral fertilizers are aligned with those currently used in the EU. Therefore, Russian manufacturers can already start using eco-labels on their products.
“In taking a progressive approach to the environmental compliance of agricultural products, the European Union has been steadily increasing its consumption of Russian phosphate-based fertilizers. PhosAgro’s share of the market of phosphate-based fertilizers imported into Europe is at least 15%, while Russia’s share is about 20%, despite the fact that a discriminatory import duty of 6.5% against Russian producers is still in place in the EU. In fact, the European market was closed to environmentally friendly Russian fertilizers for many years. Perhaps the recently adopted standards will lead to reconsideration of European import duties depending on the degree to which a product is free of impurities, which, in the future, could help increase Russian non-primary, non-energy exports,” said Mr. Pronin.