The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the leading voice in the fertilizer industry, representing the public policy, communication and statistical needs of producers, manufacturers, retailers and transporters of fertilizer, says it is confident about the future of the industry despite the numerous challenges that it has faced this year. TFI’s President, Chris Jahn, added that he was very confident that his organization is doing all the right things now to set itself up for success in the 2017-2018 period and beyond.
“Our plate is full without a doubt, but actually, long term, I am very optimistic. I am very bullish both on the things that we as TFI and the industry are doing and the outlook for the industry long term and we know what the demographics are in terms of growth in the world. So the demand is going to be there as is the supply that the world has now and the market is good at working that out and sometimes that’s painful but eventually we’ll get there,” Mr Jahn said.
2016 has been a very challenging year for the industry not only due to general weakness in the fertilizer market caused by oversupply but also due to a series unexpected events that negatively affected the industry: the fires in Fort McMurray in Alberta in May, the introduction of new safety requirements on fertilizer dealers by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the sinkhole at Mosaic’s New Wales phosphate facility in Florida and the merger deal of Agrium and Potash Company of Saskatchewan.
This year, TFI has been focusing on a few selected issues, mostly air quality, water quality, transportation, energy and safety and security. “The biggest challenge facing the industry is water quality and nutrient stewardship and to try to get as many farmers as possible to follow fertilizer best practices for those water quality issues that come from agriculture,” Mr Jahn explained.