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  • Alzbeta Klein

Embracing Global Positioning: The Path Forward for the Fertilizer Industry

Amid today’s complex landscape, the fertilizer industry remains exceptionally connected, defying deglobalisation trends. For the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), embracing a global outlook is more than expansion – it’s a necessity to maintain influence, visibility, and growth. In this article, part of Boardroom’s partnership with ESAE, Alzbeta Klein, IFA CEO/Director General, recognises the value of maintaining a global presence as a cornerstone of the Association’s long-term strategy.


The fertilizer industry, with its significant role in supporting global food production and agricultural sustainability, stands to benefit immensely from increased visibility and influence on the global stage. Embracing a global positioning strategy allows industry stakeholders to showcase their innovative solutions, cutting-edge technologies, and commitment to sustainable agriculture to a broader international audience.

By adopting and supporting global positions and issuing global position statements through the Association, the industry can illustrate thought leadership in proactively addressing emerging issues and positioning itself as forward-looking and, in some cases, as early adopters.

It was the industry’s Scope 3 emission study commissioned in 2022 that highlighted enhanced visibility and influence when this study was endorsed by Secretary Kerry, US Presidential Climate Envoy. It was the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh where the industry was recognized at the Saudi ministerial level as the key for the future. It was the USAID Administrator Power and US Presidential Envoy for Global Food Security who joined the IFA's Board of Directors and highlighted the role and global visibility and importance of the industry.

By actively participating in global fora, conferences, and initiatives, fertilizer industry players can engage with governments, international organizations, and other key stakeholders to shape policies, regulations, and standards that foster sustainable agriculture practices. This heightened influence can help in aligning the industry’s goals with global sustainability agendas, paving the way for a more prosperous and environmentally responsible future.


A key aspect of the fertilizer industry’s global positioning strategy is the expansion of its membership and collaboration with diverse stakeholders worldwide. By reaching out to potential members from different regions, the industry can tap into a vast pool of expertise, innovation, and market insights. Partnering with agtech startups further fosters knowledge exchange and promotes advancements in technology and sustainable practices.

Moreover, a global membership base enhances the industry’s credibility and legitimacy, allowing it to advocate for policies that promote responsible fertilizer use and support the needs of farmers and agricultural communities around the world.


Global positioning can be a catalyst for attracting increased philanthropic income to drive impactful projects and initiatives. As the fertilizer industry engages with diverse international donors and foundations, it can leverage its expertise in sustainable agriculture to garner support for programs aimed to address global food security, soil health, and environmental sustainability.

IFA’s co-creation of the Sustain Africa initiative with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rabobank brought funding to African agriculture, and further enhanced the industry’s visibility in fighting hunger. Collaborative partnerships with non-profit organizations and governmental bodies can enable the fertilizer industry to pool resources and expertise, amplifying the impact of philanthropic investments. By showcasing tangible results and positive social and environmental outcomes, the industry can foster long-term philanthropic commitments from stakeholders who share its vision for sustainable agriculture.


For the fertilizer industry, forging strategic partnerships with multinational corporations can unlock immense opportunities for growth and innovation. Various coalitions, such as the Private Sector Coalition of Action for Soil Health that IFA has co-founded, contribute to advancing industry stewardship programs, and help strengthen key messages.

Embracing global positioning also opens doors for potential corporate sponsors who are increasingly seeking to align their businesses with sustainable and socially responsible practices.

Through strategic alliances, the fertilizer industry can gain access to cutting-edge technologies, research, and funding that accelerates the development of sustainable fertilizers and agri-tech solutions. In partnership with UM6P in Morocco, IFA successfully executed the Africa Startup Showcase, a challenge to help solve soil health in Africa. Simultaneously, corporations can find a compelling opportunity to invest in initiatives that address environmental challenges and contribute to global food security.


While the benefits of global positioning are evident, the fertilizer industry must also address challenges of being truly global. Adhering to varying regulatory frameworks, understanding local market dynamics, and navigating cultural differences are crucial considerations for the industry overall, and for IFA as well. By investing in building strong local partnerships, the industry can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and market penetration.

In conclusion, IFA encourages all stakeholders in the fertilizer industry to seize this moment and collectively shape a more sustainable and prosperous future for agriculture and humanity. By continuing its global positioning today, the fertilizer industry can pave the way for a resilient and sustainable agricultural ecosystem tomorrow, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.


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