In the context of product stewardship, products, input materials and chemicals must be stored and handled with the objective to maintain the physical and chemical quality of the product, to prevent incidents of fire, decomposition and explosion, and to avoid theft of products.

For storage of fertilizers – whether at own or rented warehouses, at distributors’ locations, or at the farm - the following applies:

  • The fertilizer should be stored away from water courses and drains so that spillage cannot cause direct contamination
  • They should be kept dry, out of direct sunlight and protected from exposure to wide variations in temperature
  • Nitrogen fertilizers with oxidizing properties shall be stored away from organic materials and fuel sources. Fire authorities shall have access to the kind of and amount of fertilizers in store
  • Care should be taken to stack fertilizer according to manufacturers' instructions. Big bags should be handled with appropriate machinery, taking care not to damage the lifting loops.

Fertilizer Europe member companies shall store products and intermediate materials and chemicals in accordance with Fertilizers Europe Best Practice Guidelines:

These guidelines shall also be used by member companies when renting warehouses and for selecting distributors and their warehouses. Selection of external warehouses should be based on an assessment of the operator’s SHE performance and the SHE management system in place. If necessary, operational specifications should be agreed with respect to:

  • Warehouse and or liquid storage construction
  • SHE procedures
  • Best practice operations to safeguard product quality
  • Competence
  • Reporting and investigation of incidents
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Handling of non-conforming materials
  • Regular SHE inspections by storage manager
  • Security precautions.

Member companies shall actively provide product information to distributors and customers, to enable them to:

  • Have good knowledge on the SHE aspects of the products, e.g. by means of Safety Data Sheets and Best Practice Guidelines
  • Ensure correct and safe housekeeping and separation of products
  • Correct handling of non-conforming materials and waste
  • Perform risk assessment of the storage
  • Take measures to prevent accidents and criminal acts
  • Establish emergency plans
  • Provide information and training to storage operators
  • Maintain good book-keeping to ensure traceability of the products. This should be covered in a procedure for tracing customers and registration of the amount of product in store at any time and off-spec materials.