Source: The Fertilizer Institute

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has released its 2008 Annual Report, highlighting a year focused on fertilizer's contribution to world food production and its essential role as part of every nation's food security strategy.

"Food riots and fertilizer riots grabbed headlines in 2008," TFI President Ford B. West said. "As consumers became more engaged in food prices and the economy, and policymakers focused on food security, TFI worked to expand the public's understanding of production agriculture and the nutritious benefits our industry provides at a relatively small cost. Fertilizers are currently responsible for between 40 and 60 percent of world food production and it is our role to get that message out there on behalf of the industry."

In addition to the messages TFI carried throughout the year, the annual report highlights several of the Institute's achievements and efforts. In 2008, TFI submitted 27 sets of comments to federal agencies to ensure that regulations are fair and take unique aspects of the fertilizer industry into consideration; delivered more than 50 presentations throughout the world about the fertilizer supply and demand situation; fielded several hundred media calls properly positioning the fertilizer industry in the trade press and major news outlets; and commissioned a study by Doane Advisory Services examining the impact of potential climate change legislation on the production of 8 U.S. crops.

The annual report also describes the stewardship initiatives that were undertaken by TFI in 2008, including its investment in several nutrient use projects; participation in a United Nations learning series on sustainable development; and the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History exhibit "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil." TFI, on behalf of the Nutrients for Life Foundation, is the lead sponsor of the exhibition, which is designed to increase the level of public awareness about the important role of soils, as well as fertilizer's role in replenishing them.

"In 2008, several major issues impacting the United States and global fertilizer industry, including the global food crisis and escalating energy resulted in fertilizers being recognized throughout the world as a strategic global commodity," West said. "Throughout the past year, TFI's legislative, regulatory and public affairs efforts were focused on educating and promoting our industry's role."