International Fertilizer Association

Background

The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) describes itself as “the only global fertilizer association,” and is headquartered in Paris, France.1Contact us,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived June 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ksDjK 

The IFA has “a mission to promote efficient and responsible production, distribution and use of plant nutrients,” according to its LinkedIn profile. The association claims that “this mission plays a critical role in helping to feed the world sustainably.”2International Fertilizer Association,” LinkedIn. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The IFA was founded in London in 1927 as the International Superphosphate Manufacturers Association.3IFA recognises SQM’s sustainable work,” SQM. Archived July 18, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/aNnVP 

According to its website, the IFA has around 400 members, including companies, NGOs, and “research organizations.”4What we do,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived June 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eNLQr 

The IFA’s members account for approximately 70 percent of world mineral fertilizer production, according to the group’s website.5Our Industry,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived June 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eNLQr 

Members include Koch Fertilizer, SinoFert, BASF, Yara International, and Sabic, a fertilizer company controlled by Aramco, the Saudi state-owned fossil fuel company.6Our Members,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived July 27, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/O9BxA 7Syngenta Group China”, Syngenta. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/yesyg 8Shareholders – Ownership Structure”, Sabic. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/jNrFh

According to the IFA website, “Our members decide together on areas of common interest, joint actions and positions with regard to complex issues facing the industry today.”9What we do,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived June 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eNLQr

The organization runs “IFASTAT,” a website that publishes data and statistics on fertilizers.10IFASTAT,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/08fNk

Its data has been cited in documents on the European Commission website.11Potash: Impact assessment for supply security,” European Commission, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.  

The IFA claims to be “apolitical,” stating that it “describe[s] what we see and reflect on experiences from the past.”12Alzbeta Klein, “An unfolding food crisis: a perspective from the fertiliser industry,” International Fertilizer Association, April 21, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/er15R

Stance on Climate Change

The IFA’s website lists climate change as one of three “priority” areas for the IFA.13International Fertilizer Association,” IFA. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/qrElW “We work across the agriculture value chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sequestration of carbon in soil,” the company states.  

“The fertilizer industry is committed to playing its part in curbing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 1.5 [degrees] C, the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement,” states the IFA on its “Climate Change” webpage. “Industry-driven, measurable efforts to reduce carbon footprint (sic) are also happening in the fertilizer transport and supply chain down to the farm level.”14Climate Change,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/wUuos 

The IFA promotes the message that fertilizers are necessary to meet global food needs, and that agriculture must pursue “sustainable intensification” in the context of climate change. 

In the IFA’s 2021 annual report, IFA Chair and Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether wrote:15IFA Annual Report 2021,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“The fertilizer industry has a particularly important role to play to prevent us moving from a crisis to a catastrophe. Approximately half the world’s population have food on the table due to mineral fertilizers. Without replenishing the soil with nutrients, we will see significant reductions in yield and therefore further food price increases.”  

On the “Food and Security” page of its website, IFA states: “The challenge is to increase harvests of nutritious food, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”16Food and Security,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rPE8C The IFA says that the industry “recommends prioritizing sustainable intensification (growing more food on the same amount of land with reduced effects on the environment) as one of the most resource-efficient solutions to managing land use and avoiding further deforestation.”17Food and Security,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rPE8C 

NGOs and academics argue that “sustainable intensification” is largely unproven, and question whether it can deliver on promised benefits.18Tim Benton and Helen Harwatt, “Sustainable agriculture and food systems: Comparing contrasting and contested versions,” Chatham House, May 2022. Archived July 28, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Fertilizers and climate change

Synthetic fertilizers rely on fossil fuels, predominantly using natural gas as a feedstock during production. The Centre for International Environmental Law says that the most common kind of fertilizer used, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, are simply “fossil fuels in another form.”19Dana Drugmand, Steven Feit, Lili Fuhr, and Carroll Muffett, “Fossils, Fertilizers, and False Solutions: How Laundering Fossil Fuels in Agrochemicals Puts the Climate and the Planet at Risk,” Centre for International Environmental Law, October 2022. Archived November 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

Once in use, fertilizers release further greenhouse gasses. Both organic and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers emit significant quantities of nitrous oxide (NO2), a greenhouse gas that traps 300 times more heat than CO2 and can remain in the atmosphere for decades.20Daisy Dunne. “Nitrogen fertilizer use could ‘threaten global climate goals’,” Carbon Brief, September 7, 2020. Archived November 25, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/L9DNY 21Tackling climate change,” European Commission, Archived December 3, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/vKMzc 

Over the past four decades, rising use of nitrogen-based fertilizers has driven up global emissions of NO2.22Daisy Dunne. “Nitrogen fertilizer use could ‘threaten global climate goals’,” Carbon Brief, September 7, 2020. Archived November 25, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/L9DNY 

According to the Centre for International Environmental Law, “decades of overuse of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides—collectively agrochemicals—and the pervasive spread of industrial agriculture based on those agrochemicals, is contributing to catastrophic biodiversity collapse and toxic pollution, pushing the Earth beyond critical planetary boundaries, and resulting in widespread violations of human rights, particularly in the Global South.”23Dana Drugmand, Steven Feit, Lili Fuhr, and Carroll Muffett, “Fossils, Fertilizers, and False Solutions: How Laundering Fossil Fuels in Agrochemicals Puts the Climate and the Planet at Risk,” Centre for International Environmental Law, October 2022. Archived November 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

In May 2020, the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy set a goal to reduce at least 20 percent of nutrient losses on EU farms by 2030, which could translate into a 20 percent reduction in synthetic fertilizer use.24EU Farm to Fork Strategy,” European Commission, Archived on November 25, 2021, Archive URL: https://archive.ph/wip/d0SZD 25Kerstine Appunn. “EU’s Farm to Fork strategy impacts climate, productivity and trade,” Clean Energy Wire, March 5, 2021. Archived November 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/iwt40

Fertilizers and food security

According to the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), synthetic pesticides and fertilizers actually harm food security due to “deleterious effects on soil biota,” ultimately “degrading natural cycles” and ensuring that food systems are dependent on ever greater inputs of chemicals in order to maintain yields.26Dana Drugmand, Steven Feit, Lili Fuhr, and Carroll Muffett, “Fossils, Fertilizers, and False Solutions: How Laundering Fossil Fuels in Agrochemicals Puts the Climate and the Planet at Risk,” Centre for International Environmental Law, October 2022. Archived November 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Alternative growing systems can provide food security without agrochemicals, IPES-Food says. “Data shows that [diversified agroecological] systems can compete with industrial agriculture in terms of total outputs, performing particularly strongly under environmental stress, and delivering production increases in the places where additional food is desperately needed.27From Uniformity to Diversity – A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversifed agroecological systems,”  International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food systems, 2016. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rrzNt

Sustainable Intensification

In this context, the notion of ‘sustainable intensification’ has been widely contested. Sustainable intensification is the concept of increasing agricultural yields while using lower inputs.28Jules Pretty and Zareen Pervez Bharucha, “Sustainable intensification in agricultural systems,” Annals of Botany, December 2014. Archived December 19, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Proponents suggest that it is necessary to meet global demand while reducing the environmental impacts of our agricultural system.29Tara Garnett and Charles Godfray. “Sustainable intensification in agriculture. Navigating a course through competing food system priorities,” Food Climate Research Network and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, University of Oxford, Archived July 28, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

However, academics, NGOs and policy makers have sharply challenged claims that it can provide a climate and biodiversity solution. Current intensive farming practices are a key contributor to biodiversity loss and climate breakdown.30Tim G. Benton, Carling Bieg, Helen Harwatt, Roshan Pudasaini and Laura Wellesley, “Food system impacts on biodiversity loss – Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature”, Chatham House, February 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

In 2015, the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security examined whether ‘sustainable intensification’ could sufficiently reduce the emissions from agriculture. It found that: “Neither business-as-usual intensification of agriculture nor moderate adoption of mitigation practices will reduce emissions enough to avoid a 2-degree C temperature increase in 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.”31Julianna White, “Sustainable intensification will not keep us within the 2-degree goal for 2030,” CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, April 9, 2015. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/W5F8P

Influence at UN Climate Change Conferences

2021

The IFA sent an eight-person delegation to the twenty-sixth annual United Nations climate change conference, known as COP26. The delegation included Yara International CEO Svein Tore Holsether, Chair of the IFA, as well as employees of BASF and industry association Fertilizer Canada. According to Quota, “food company lobbyists also gained access [to COP26] as observers by registering and attending under the label of non-governmental organisations, which is interpreted to include sectoral trade associations and cross-cutting business alliances.”32Anthony So, “How the food sector protected its own interests at COP26,” Quota, November 18, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/dA2g8 

Writing about COP 26 on its website, IFA stated that it had been an active observer to the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), which was formed at 2017’s COP23 to address the role of agriculture in climate change. The IFA stated that it was “promoting key messages on nutrient use efficiency improvement through the adoption of fertilizer best management practices” in the KJWA.33IFA at COP26,” International Fertilizer Association, November 2, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YwNMl

IFA CEO and Director General Alzbeta Klein spoke at multiple events during COP26, including two hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).34IFA at COP26,” International Fertilizer Association, November 2, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YwNMl 

The EBRD is a multilateral development bank owned by the European Union, the European Investment Bank, and 71 countries.35Who we are,” European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3pCim The EBRD provides climate finance to developing nations across several economic sectors, including agribusiness.36What we do,” European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/jmgw7

2019

At the twenty-fifth annual United Nations climate conference, known as COP25, IFA delegates reportedly attended KJWA’s workshop on “improved nutrient use and manure management towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems,” including representatives of  Yara, BASF, TFI, and Fertilizer Canada. The IFA stated that it had “successfully promote[d] fertilizer best practice” and that the KJWA was expected to adopt conclusions from the workshop at its meeting in June 2020.37IFA and members successfully promote fertilizer best management practices at nutrient focused COP25,” International Fertilizer Association, December 12, 2019. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/MThnZ 

2016

The IFA contributed a white paper on “The Role of Fertilizers in Climate-Smart Agriculture” to 2016’s annual UN climate conference, known as COP22, held in Marrakesh in November.38The Role of Fertilizers in Climate-Smart Agriculture Contribution of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) to the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh – COP22/CMP12,” International Fertilizer Association, 2016. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Global food security is not achievable without fertilizers,” the IFA stated in the report. “Fertilizers are crucial to sustainably enhancing food productivity [and] fertilizers, when used following site- and crop- specific Best Management Practices […] are important for adaptation to and mitigation against climate change.” 

During the Marrakesh conference, “a group of global experts on soil and natural resource conservation, along with COP22 Scientific Committee members, met on the sidelines…to shape an agenda for sustainable management of Africa’s soils.” 

According to an article about the event, Charlotte Hebebrand, then Director General of International Fertilizer Association, stated that “the use of fertilizers must be increased in Africa to bring up the crop yields lagging behind from poor soils.”39Managing Africa’s soils: The road to adaptation and mitigation @COP22,” ICARDA, October 27, 2016. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pTccx

A press release from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) quoted Hebebrand: “By optimising its fertilizer use, no less and no more, the continent can significantly increase average crop yields while keeping greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum.”40Experts launch action plan to help African agriculture adapt to climate change,” CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, November 14, 2016. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7mt8d 

The meeting participants reportedly discussed how to prioritize investments in a new initiative launched by the Moroccan government, called “Adaptation of African Agriculture.”41Experts launch action plan to help African agriculture adapt to climate change,” CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, November 14, 2016. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7mt8d 

Food sovereignty organization GRAIN expressed concerns that the fertilizer industries would “dominate COP22,” writing: “The multinationals of the fertiliser sector – which worsen the climate and reap enormous profits from global food crises—are now promoting their interests in the climate negotiations.”42ATTAC/CADTM Moroc, GRAIN, “Big business in Marrakech: fertiliser industry and finance dominate COP22,” GRAIN, November 7, 2016. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/uKffs

Actions

Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

In May 2022, Yara International CEO Svein Tore Holsether, the board chair of the IFA, wrote on the World Economic Forum website that “increas[ing] productivity in developing countries” was one of three ways to reduce geopolitical risks in the food system:43Svein Tore Holsether. “Three ways to reduce geopolitical risks in the global food system,” World Economic Forum, May 22, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Yp5rO

“it is clear that we must reduce our dependency on Russia in the longer term…[T]here are enormous regional differences in global agricultural productivity, often referred to as the yield gap. Harvests are determined by many factors, including weather, optimised use of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, and farming techniques. By using the right decision-making tools and having access to knowledge and quality inputs, smallholder farmers can significantly improve yields. If farming in many African countries, for example, reached the same productivity level as European countries, they would strengthen their resilience, enable many more livelihoods, and could finally be net exporters instead of major food importers.” 

In an opinion piece published on the IFA website in April 2022, IFA CEO Alzbeta Klein argued that amid a food supply crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine:44Alzbeta Klein, “An unfolding food crisis: a perspective from the fertiliser industry,” International Fertilizer Association, April 21, 2022. Archived November 23, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/er15R 

“…it is time to make fertilisers essential goods. Mineral fertilisers are precursors to wheat, soy, corn and many other everyday staples. Without fertilisers, there will be limited production of staple commodities and food. Fertilisers were declared essential during the pandemic by many countries, and now it is time to do so for all.”

IFA’s Links to the Russian Fertilizer Industry

Russia is home to a significant proportion of global synthetic fertilizer production, with one analysis finding Russia accounts for over 40 percent of potash exports, over 20 percent of ammonia exports, and over 45 percent of ammonium nitrate exports – all either components of or finished fertilizer products.45The Russia-Ukraine War’s Impact on Global Fertilizer Markets,” Rabo-Research, April 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eWKad

Fertilizer production has therefore been severely disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, contributing to already rising fertilizer prices, which have increased nearly 30 percent since the start of 2022, on top of an 80 percent increase in 2021.46John Baffeswee and Chian Koh. “Fertilizer prices expected to remain higher for longer,” May 11, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Hpkxi

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have weakened the role of Russians in the IFA. In March 2022, IFA vice chair Dmity Konyaev and board member Andrey Guryev both resigned their positions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.47IFA Annual Report 2021,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

IFA board member Andrey Guryev came under UK sanctions as a “known close associate of Vladimir Putin,” and resigned his position in March 2022 as well.48UK imposes sweeping new sanctions to starve Putin’s war machine,” Gov.uk, April 6, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/4fGtF

Andrewy Guryev remains the president of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers.49About the Association,” Russian Fertilizers Producers Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bmRar 

Partnership with the UN FAO

On December 13, 2021, the IFA and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) “agreeing to promote the sustainable use and management of fertilizers and continue their long-lasting collaboration on fertilizer statistics.” The MoU was signed by Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether for the IFA, and FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol. IFA CEO and Director General Alzbeta Klein was a witness to the signing.50FAO And The International Fertilizer Association Renew MoU To Promote Sustainable Fertilizer Use,” International Fertilizer Association, December 13, 2021. Archived July 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/OaKnJ 

In a June 2022 report titled “Corporate Capture Of FAO,” three NGOs documented the  “corporate capture of policy processes” within the FAO.51Corporate Capture Of FAO: Industry’s Deepening Influence on Global Food Governance,” Corporate Accountability & FIAN International, with contributions from PAN International, June 2022. Archived July 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. The report described FAO’s collaborations with IFA and other agrichemical groups as “creat[ing] new spaces to address food systems issues without transparency and accountability mechanisms, nor meaningful ways of participation for rights holders, while giving special power to those who can fund and influence the coalitions.”

The report was created by Corporate Accountability and the Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN), with contributions from Pesticides Action Network (PAN) International.

The IFA is also involved in the Coalition for Soil Health (CA4SH), a soil health initiative created at the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.52UN Food Systems Summit Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH) – Private Sector – Call to Action,” CropLife, September 17, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ezONM 

According to the “Corporate Capture of FAO” report: 

“IFA describes itself as a facilitator and supporter of this coalition. Besides IFA, other supporters of the Coalition are BASF, Bayer, Corteva, Nestlé, Nutrien, OCP, PepsiCo, Rabobank, Syngenta, Yara, WBCSD as well as Croplife International.” 

The report noted that “the CA4SH is based on the interest of the private sector in creating investment opportunities related to soil health by understanding soil carbon storage as an important value-chain asset and attractive return on investment.”53Corporate Capture Of FAO: Industry’s Deepening Influence on Global Food Governance,” Corporate Accountability & FIAN International, with contributions from PAN International, June 2022. Archived July 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The FAO and IFA have also collaborated on a webinar series on aligning plant nutrition “with future farming systems that intensify production, improve human nutrition, protect and enhance biodiversity, shrink environmental and carbon footprints.”54FAO-IFA Webinar series : Realigning the 4Rs with Future Farming Systems”, YouTube video uploaded by user IFAfertilizers on February 28, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

IFA Sustainability Events

IFA holds an annual event called the “Global Sustainability Conference.”55IFA Global Sustainability Conference Day 1,” Vimeo, March 9, 2021. 

Speakers at the 2021 IFA “Global Sustainability Conference included officials from the FAO and development finance institutions, such as Eduardo Mansur, the director of the FAO Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment; Ronald Vargas, secretary of the FAO’s Global Soil Partnership; and representatives from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation.56IFA Global Sustainability Conference Day 1,” Vimeo, March 9, 2021. 57Eduardo Mansur,” LinkedIn. Accessed August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 58IFA Webinar : Adopting a new view of soil health for human health,” YouTube video uploaded by user IFAfertilizers on July 27, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
IFA Global Sustainability Conference Day 3,” Vimeo, March 11, 2021.

Funding

The IFA’s 2021 revenues totaled  €7.53 million (USD$8.9 million) in 2021, according to the organization’s annual report. Of this, €5.81 million (USD$6.87 million) was said to be from “subscriptions,” and €1.72 million (USD$2.03 million) from conferences.59IFA Annual Report 2021,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Lobbying

The International Fertilizer Association is not currently listed in the European Transparency Register. 

IFA has lobbied EU institutions in the past: in 2009, it submitted comments on the draft European Commission proposal relating to Cadmium in fertilizers.”60International Fertilizer Association. “Comments from the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) on the Draft European Commission (EC) Proposal Relating to Cadmium in Fertilizers,” European Commission, June 10, 2009. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Key People

IFA’s CEO and Director General is Alzbeta Klein. Klein is a board member of the International Fertilizer Development Center.61Our Board,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/mp1xi 62Pippa Luck. “IFA appoints new Director General,” World Fertilizer Magazine, November 11, 2020. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/NHs53 63Alzbeta Klein,” LinkedIn. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The IFA executive board chair is Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara International.64Our Board,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/mp1xi 65Management team – Svein Tore Holsether,” Yara International ASA. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/c0iXX

Incitec Pivot Ltd. CEO Jeanne Johns chairs the IFA executive board’s “market intelligence committee.” Intelligence Committee at IFA.66Our Board,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/mp1xi Johns previously worked for 12 years at BP, including as Head of Operating Management System and Head of downstream Safety and Operational Risk (a group developed following BP’s Gulf of Mexico accident).67Jeanne Johns,” LinkedIn. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Other board members include: Anthony Will, CF Industries (hydrogen and nitrogen product manufacturer); Mostafa Terrab, OCP S.A. (a phosphorus mining company); and Hendge Qin, SinoFert (a fertilizer company and arm of the Syngenta Group).68Our Board,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/mp1xi

Affiliations

IFA members include BASF, Yara, Borealis, CF Industries, SinoFert (a branch of Syngenta Group), and Koch Fertilizer LLC.69About IFA Members,” International Fertilizer Associations. Archived June 28, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

The International Fertilizer Association is a member of AIM4Climate, a US-led sustainable farming initiative that has been criticized for favoring big business and promoting uncertain techno-fixes ahead of the November 2022 COP27 climate talks.70Rachel Sherrington. “Big Agriculture Casts Itself as Climate Champion Ahead of COP27,” DeSmog, October 6, 2022.

Launched at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last year by the U.S. and United Arab Emirates governments, the AIM for Climate (AIM4C) coalition pledged to accelerate innovation in agriculture and food systems to support climate action.

Alongside 40 states, partners include major agribusinesses, such as Brazilian meat giant JBS, and agricultural trade groups such as CropLife International, as well as research centers such as the University of Edinburgh’s Climate Change Institute. Multi-billion-dollar nonprofits the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Nature Conservancy are also taking part.

It is also a member of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA), a multi-stakeholder initiative promoting the concept of “climate smart agriculture.”71Members List,” FAO – Global Alliance for Smart Agriculture, July 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eJmYN 

Multiple NGOs, including Oxfam and Greenpeace, signed an open letter in 2014 that raised concerns about GACSA.72Open Letter from civil society on the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture”, Climate Smart Agriculture Concerns, July 2014. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/kdDDw The letter claimed that the GACSA did not have any environmental criteria: “Industrial approaches that drive deforestation, increase synthetic fertiliser use, intensify livestock production or increase the vulnerability of farmers, are welcome to the Climate Smart family, and are apparently free to use the Alliance to promote their practices as solutions to climate change.” It stated that it was unclear what role corporate interests would play in its governance. 

In 2015, the NGO GRAIN, which advocates for small farmers, stated on its website that the GACSA was “the culmination of several years of efforts by the fertiliser lobby to block meaningful action on agriculture and climate change.”73The Exxons of Agriculture,” GRAIN, September 30, 2015. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/TYQ5s 

GRAIN added that 29 of GASCA’s “non-governmental founding members” included “three fertiliser industry lobby groups, two of the world’s largest fertiliser companies (Yara of Norway and Mosaic of the US), and a handful of organisations working directly with fertiliser companies on climate change programmes.”74The Exxons of Agriculture,” GRAIN, September 30, 2015. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/TYQ5s

Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawren...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...