Government’s monitoring of fertiliser market welcomed by Lockhart

Upper Bann MP and DUP DEFRA spokesperson, Carla Lockhart, has welcomed assurances from the DEFRA Secretary of State George Eustice MP, in relation to the government monitoring the supply of fertilisers.

This follows the announcement by CF Industries that they will be closing a plant in Ince, England.

Ms Lockhart commented: “There has been considerable concern that the closure of the CF Industries plant in Cheshire will result in further pressures on the supply and price point of fertiliser.

“This year has seen record increases in prices, adding to the input cost burden faced by farmers.

DUP DEFRA spokesperson Carla Lockhart MP

“The last thing that is needed is for the market to be further squeezed by a reduction in fertiliser production.

“Furthermore, with the plant creating a significant amount of carbon dioxide as a by-product, the knock-on impact on other aspects of the agri-food industry could also pose challenges.”

The Upper Bann MP said the Secretary of State at DEFRA “must be mindful” of the challenges that could arise from the closure of the CF Industries plant.

She continued: “Of course, the government must also act to address the reason given by the company for the closure, namely the increase in energy prices that is putting manufacturing in a position where these difficult decisions must be taken.

“I welcome the Secretary of State indicating he is keeping a watchful eye on this.

“We need a reaction from government to these problems, as the projection looking ahead is that they will worsen, before getting better.

“One such area would be government investment in enabling the full utilisation of organic waste for energy production from farms and providing a certified product which can be used for land spreading.

“Such a step would be welcomed by the industry,” Ms Lockhart ended.