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Without fertilizers‌ human life is unsustainable. Feeding the world and combating climate change

Fertilizers Europe is the new name of the European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, previously known as EFMA. Our new identity provides immediate recognition of our association as the official, dedicated source of information on fertilizers. This is particularly important because of the vital role the fertilizer industry plays in feeding the world. As the largest representative of mineral fertilizer manufacturers in Europe, we communicate with a broad range of legislators, experts and individual members of the public seeking information on fertilizer technology, as well as a diversity of topics relating to today’s environmental, safety and economic challenges. Our new identity expresses our function in a more direct way and facilitates the exchange of information. Our new website is designed to provide the latest information on a range of subjects of immediate relevance to all those interested in fertilizers and their contribution to the world’s food supply.


Contents Fertilizers & food


Natural gas


Fertilizers & the environment


Life-cycle perspective


Renewable energy


ETS & carbon leakage


Industry benchmarks




The world will have

3 billion

more mouths to feed by 2050.

Without fertilizers‌ many will go hungry.


Mineral fertilizers provide the only means to keep pace with the global demand for food.


Without fertilizers‌ Europe will lose its self-sufficiency in food and be less able to contribute to world needs.

Fertilizers & food The increasing global demand for food calls for greater agricultural productivity and improved crop nutrition. By providing the essential nutrients for predictable crop growth, mineral nitrogen fertilizers increase crop yields, as well as help compensate for the decreasing stock of productive land due to urbanisation, soil erosion and nutrient depletion. Today, European farmers produce more crops with less fertilizer than they did 20 years ago and their nitrogen-use efficiency is the highest in the world. Europe must continue to take full advantage of modern farming practice to maintain its own selfsufficiency in food production and increase its contribution towards global food needs. Without mineral fertilizers, agricultural yields around the world would drop between 30 and 85%.


Natural gas is a fundamental raw material for modern fertilizer production.


Without affordable natural gas‌ European fertilizer costs will be prohibitively expensive and Europe’s food production will suffer.

Natural gas The availability of food in Europe must not be endangered by unpredictable prices and uncertain supplies of imported natural gas. Natural gas is an essential raw material for modern fertilizer production and the industry is the EU’s largest industrial user. It relies on a freely available supply of gas at a competitive price to make the fertilizers European farmers need. However, gas prices in Europe are among the highest in the world and seasonal and political factors have already had major impacts on the security of supply. Greater interconnectivity, storage and transparency in the European gas market will benefit consumers across the continent. It is vital that the EU implement the main elements of the 3rd Gas Market Directive on time. Without an affordable and stable supply of natural gas, European fertilizer production is uncertain.



of global greenhouse gas emissions come from changes in land use.


With more efficient use of existing land and greater crop yields, agriculture can minimise its effect on the environment.

Fertilizers & the environment The challenge facing global agriculture is to reconcile the need for increased food production with that of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Since significant emissions come from changes in land use, it is vital to increase the efficiency of exitisting farmland. Reducing GHGs is an important driver of EU environmental and agricultural policies and emissions of N2O from soil-applied nitrogen and mineral fertilizer production are already diminishing. The European fertilizer industry is heavily engaged in promoting good agricultural practice so that farmers can further reduce GHGs. But when looking at the environmental impact of fertilizers, the complete nitrogen life-cycle must be taken into account. Without fertilizers, the world would require an additional 1,100 million hectares of land for agriculture. This translates into an extra 1,650 million tons of CO2.


Life-cycle perspective

Fertilizers & food Security of supply

Distribution networks

Fertilizer selection

Pricing policy


Fertilizer type

Raw materials: Natural gas Energy and mineral ore


Resource selection

Best available technology (BAT)

Energy use

Energy efficiency

Fertilizers & the environment 10

Fertilizer production

GHG reduction

Transport costs


Transport GHGs

Consideration of all the issues within the fertilizer life-cycle/value chain is important in evaluating the vital role that mineral fertilizers play in achieving the agricultural productivity necessary for long-term human sustainability. These include the economics of the industry, which must be protected against excessive environmental charges and unfair raw materials costs.

Good agricultural practice (GAP)

Crop type food/fuel

Nitrogen use efficiency

Crop yield

Fertilizer application


Nutritional value

Food/Feed production

Human nutrition

Food consumption


Good agricultural practice (GAP)

Energy balance

GHG reduction

GHG reduction

Land use optimisation

CO2 sequestration


Mineral fertilizers play a key role in meeting the EU’s ambitious targets for renewable energy.


Without them‌ Europe will continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels, an unsustainable natural resource.

Renewable energy The development of bio-energy and biofuels are key elements in the EU’s environmental strategy. Its target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 and a 10% share for biofuels are driving the process. Biomass already makes a substantial contribution to highly efficient combined heat and power plants and an increasing number of vehicles are today powered by biofuels. By increasing the yield and the intrinsic energy content of bio-energy crops, mineral fertilizers help to maximise their energy return, reduce emissions and optimise land use. In Europe, renewable energy crops are currently grown on 4 million hectares of idle or previous set-aside land and to date have had no real impact on the amount of land used for agriculture, or on food production. Without fertilizers, Europe would need to employ more land to reach its renewable energy requirements, greatly reducing its biodiversity.


The European fertilizer industry is deemed to be the sector most exposed to ‘carbon leakage’.


Without a European fertilizer industry… production will move to less environmentallyconscious regions with far greater carbon emissions.

ETS & carbon leakage Proposed ETS III legislation will inevitably drive mineral fertilizer production out of Europe. The industry has been shown to be the most vulnerable to carbon leakage and there are signs that it is already happening. The allocation of ‘free emission rights’ is to be based on the performance of the best 10% of European ammonia and nitric acid plants. 95% of European fertilizer plants will have to pay for their emissions rights, adding €1.3 billion to their operating costs. With a global market dictating fertilizer prices, many plants will no longer be competitive and will close. ETS III, therefore, should be based on achievable benchmarks, adopting the ‘best average’ rule in such a way that minimises carbon leakage. Without suitable benchmarks, ETS III may actually increase global carbon emissions.


European fertilizer industry benchmarks show that it is the world’s most efficient, with low GHG emissions.


Without a phased introduction of emissions rights‌ further environmental investment is uncertain.

Industry benchmarks The European fertilizer industry is based on modern ammonia and nitric acid plants using the best available technology. Fertilizers Europe collects energy efficiency and emissions data annually from European fertilizer producers from which it publishes industry benchmarks. Its latest ‘Ammonia Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions’ benchmark was published last year. Its ‘Emission benchmark’, which monitors emissions of a large number of substances including N2O, is due for revision in 2010. The benchmarks show that the industry’s average performance is not far off the existing best available technology and provide a fair basis on which decisions affecting the industry can be based. They show that a further reduction in emissions is technically possible but will require significant investment and time to implement. Without a stepwise reduction in emission allowances from 2013, the industry cannot afford to make this investment. 17

Without fertilizers‌ human life is unsustainable.

Europe needs a strong fertilizer industry to safeguard its food security and combat climate change.

Members of the Association Corporate


AB Achema, Lithuania

AIC (Agricultural Industries Confederation), United Kingdom

Agropolychim, Bulgaria

ANFFE (Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Fertilizantes), Spain

Borealis Agrolinz Melamine GmbH, Austria

ASSOFERTILIZZANTI (Associazione Nazionale Fertilizzanti), Italy

Anwil SA, Poland


Azomures, Romania

IVA (Industrieverband Agrar e.V.), Germany

BASF AG SE, Germany

PIPC (Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry), Poland

Donau Chem, Romania

UNIFA (Union des Industries de la Fertilisation), France

Fertiberia SA, Spain & Portugal

VKP (Vereniging van Kunstmest Producenten), The Netherlands

GPN, France GrowHow UK Ltd, United Kingdom Lovochemie AS, Czech Republic OCI Nitrogen, Netherlands Neochim, Bulgaria Nitrogénmüvek Zrt, Hungary Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy SA, Poland Yara International ASA, Belgium


Avenue E. van Nieuwenhuyse 4/6 B-1160, Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32 2 675 3550 Fax: +32 2 675 3961 E-mail:

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