7 September 2023

Connecting with farmers

Ruben, marketing communications officer for fertilizers, spoke to us about a recent visit from Dutch farmers to our office and fertilizer plant in Geleen, and how creating opportunities to directly connect with the farming community is one of the things that makes OCI special. 

Ruben, can you start by telling us about the initiative behind the visit?  

Boerenbusiness (which translates as ‘farm business’) is a Dutch agricultural publication. It has an initiative called Gewastour meaning ‘crop tour’ which aims to help farmers and agriculture businesses collaborate and learn from one another. One of the ways it does this is by organizing educational days for farmers.  

What is OCI’s involvement and what did you do on the day?

As part of Gewastour, we invited farmers from all over the Netherlands to visit our office in Geleen and be taken on a tour of our fertilizer plant by our plant specialists. We started by giving some presentations describing how we’re supporting our customers in the Netherlands and around the world to maximize their crop yields and minimize their environmental impact through our lower-carbon products and sustainable agriculture practices. We also discussed our shared visions for the future, and it was interesting to hear first-hand about the challenges farmers are facing and the support they need.  

While the farmers had some well-deserved lunch, our specialists explained the safety guidelines for the plant, which the farmers found particularly impressive, and then we all travelled to the plant and its warehouse to see everything we’d discussed in the morning in action.  

Why is collaboration between fertilizer companies and farmers important? 

Given the scale of our fertilizer production, we often work with wholesale customers rather than the farmers themselves, but the farmers are our end-users and a vitally important audience. They are the ones using our fertilizers and seeing their impact day to day, so their feedback is incredibly valuable to us. Having open channels of communication between fertilizer companies and farmers ensures we can continue producing efficient, quality products that support the farmers, their crops, and the environment.

Why does OCI’s approach to sustainable agriculture matter to you? 

Fertilizers are essential for global food supply, and account for around half the world’s current food production today. With the world’s population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, fertilizers have a vital role to play in securing future global food security. At the same time, agriculture is directly impacted by climate change, so it’s great that at OCI we are taking our responsibility to minimize environmental impact and emissions both in our own production and in our products seriously. Initiatives like Gewastour are a good example of our commitment to having conversations across the value chain, whether that’s on sustainability or on any other challenge, so we can drive change together.  

Finally, can you describe the day in three words?  

Unique, interesting, fun. 

Read more about how we’re playing an essential role in supporting global food security and powering a cleaner way forward for our customers here.

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