Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute to create ResponsibleAg

The Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute are joining forces to create ResponsibleAg, an independent, not-for-profit organization designed to support fertilizer retailers’ compliance with federal safety and security regulations.

Under ResponsibleAg, retail fertilizer dealerships will have access to comprehensive inspections based on federal regulatory requirements. The inspections will be carried out by trained auditors who will have successfully completed an intensive training course.

“ResponsibleAg will verify compliance at more facilities and with greater speed than is currently being done by the multitude of federal agencies that regulate the nation’s fertilizer retailers, so we are choosing to act now rather than waiting for the next government inspection,” said TFI President Chris Jahn.

ResponsibleAg will credential auditors who will inspect and verify individual facilities’ level of compliance with applicable federal regulations. Facilities that successfully complete assessments will be recognized for having done so. Any site that does not successfully complete an assessment will be provided a list of recommended corrective actions. Additionally, third party auditors will conduct random quality assurance reviews to verify the assessments.

TFI and ARA are each contributing $100,000 in start-up capital for the organization, and the Asmark Institute will help provide for training programs, training facilities and administration of the ResponsibleAg website and database. Once established, ResponsibleAg will be funded by registration fees paid by participating fertilizer storage and handling inventory points and their suppliers. Auditor training costs will be funded by tuition paid by those seeking the ResponsibleAg auditor credential. Membership in TFI, ARA or any other organization is not a requirement for participation.

ARA and TFI will nominate a nine-person board of directors, which will be filled from a cross section representing the entire fertilizer distribution network. The board of directors will adopt ResponsibleAg bylaws, create an annual operating budget and appoint a business manager to oversee day-to-day operations. When the initial board of directors’ term has expired, subsequent directors will be nominated from ResponsibleAg participating organizations.

 

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