Yara will stop sourcing Belarusian potash, a “key” ingredient for producing mineral fertilisers used in food production.
The chemical company – which specialises in agricultural products and environmental protection agents – expects to complete the wind-down by April 1st, 2022.
The fertiliser giant made the decision in light of the effects on the supply chain from the “current sanctions” on Belarus.
In a statement on January 10th, 2022, the company outlined that it has a “strong” commitment to universal human rights and condemns all forms of repression and human rights violations.
“With the support of human rights organizations and trade unions, Yara has sought positive change by leveraging its presence in Belarus to promote occupational safety and human rights,” the spokesperson said.
Svein Tore Holsether, President & CEO of Yara International, said:
“The effects of the current sanctions on Belarus reduce Yara’s ability to positively influence the safety and well-being of Belaruskali workers.”
“For Yara, this is a disappointing development. We remain strongly committed to the safety and well-being of Belaruskali’s workers.”
Despite the wind-down of potash sourcing, he said Yara aims to continue the industrial safety programme it initiated last year, in “close” cooperation with the independent trade union in Belaruskali and “full compliance” with applicable sanctions.
Through regular dialogue with Belaruskali management and trade unions, it said the following has “laid the ground for lasting improvements in the situation” for Belaruskali workers.
- A joint safety program in Soligorsk;
- First-hand observations;
- The secondment of a Yara Safety Director;
- Several other visits to Soligorsk.
The company acknowledged that strengthening a corporate safety culture is a long-term process.
However, it claims that it has already seen “clear” improvements in “several” areas.
Some examples are machinery protection, trade union involvement and risk-based safe work assessments.
Yara confirmed its ambition is to continue this work despite its wind-down of sourcing activities.
“Yara is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions.”
“Although Yara’s sourcing from Belarus is in full compliance with applicable sanctions, other parts of the supply chain are withdrawing essential services required to enable potash exports from Belarus, as a result of which Yara has initiated a wind-down in sourcing activities.”
Yara said that it would continue to monitor for “any changes in the situation”, including sanctions, as part of its ongoing sourcing operations.
Other farming news:
- Earlier this week, we reported that Yara’s fossil-free fertilisers will hit the market in 2023.