FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON, July 5, 2023 – Fertilizer Canada is calling on the federal government to take immediate action to end the work stoppage at the West Coast ports. Canada exports 95 per cent of the potash we produce to global markets with the majority flowing through the Port of Vancouver. Potash is a vital crop input that helps farmers increase their yields, and interruptions to overseas shipments can have damaging impacts on global food security.
The government must take immediate action to end the work stoppage using all means available, including recalling Parliament and enacting back-to-work legislation. Swift action is needed as the impacts of delays are felt even after a resolution is reached as services need time to ramp back up. Government intervention is needed to protect Canada’s reputation as a reliable trading partner.
“Potash is essential to global food security, and we are concerned the strike will jeopardize the delivery of our product to farmers around the world who need it to grow hearty, nutritious crops,” says Karen Proud, President and CEO Fertilizer Canada. “The fertilizer industry depends on reliable supply chains to get our products to farmers. This strike is one of many disruptions we have seen and underscores the importance of strengthening Canada’s supply chains.”
Geopolitical events, like the war in Ukraine, have put pressure on global potash supply, and dependable supply chains are essential to Canada’s reputation as a reliable and stable trading partner. Canada services markets in Asia and South America who are relying on potash shipments for their growing season.
Potash is second only to gold in export value, contributing about $5.52 billion to GDP annually. Over 75 countries rely on Canadian fertilizer. Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of potash fertilizer in the world followed by Russia and Belarus.
Over 7,000 B.C. port workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) began striking on Saturday impacting exports and imports out of the West Coast ports.
ABOUT FERTILIZER CANADA:
Fertilizer Canada represents manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. The fertilizer industry plays an essential role in Canada’s economy and is committed to supporting the industry through innovation, sustainability, stewardship, safety and security. As the foundation of Canada’s agri-food sector, we apply innovative solutions that positively impact the environment, the economy, and the social fabrics of Canadian life.
Director of Communications, Fertilizer Canada