Product Quality

The Issue

Fertilisers are sold with a stated analysis of the nutrients that they contain. They are also required to not exceed maximum permissible concentration (MPC) levels for certain impurities.

When fertiliser companies purchase finished products or ingredients, the supplier provides a certificate of analysis listing nutrient content and levels of certain impurities. There have been several examples where the quality of imported product has not matched the certificate of analysis provided by the supplier. This is a potentially serious issue. In one case of imported fertiliser, cadmium levels far exceeded the MPC. In another, the “fertiliser” bore no relation to the claimed analysis and appeared to be simply soil. Typically this is managed by quality assurance systems that include an appropriate level of sampling and analysis of the product by the purchaser. 

Fertilizer Australia Response

Fertilizer Australia worked with the authorities to develop a risk assessment based COP for purchasing. Under the code, companies assess the risk for each supplier and put in place an appropriate frequency of quality assurance sampling and analysis. 

Details of how Fertilizer Australia members are performing in managing fertiliser issues can be found in the Sustainability and Stewardship Report.  To access the report click on the image at left.


The Fertilizer Australia Purchasing COP is a risk based quality assurance methodology. As well as managing purchasing from higher risk countries it provides guidance on industry best practice. 

Purchasing Code of Practice.pdf