Yara acquisition to expand its organic fertiliser volume

21st December 2023 | Company News, Fertilisers

Yara International has further increased its organic fertiliser manufacturing capacity through the acquisition of an Italian natural fertiliser maker.

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The Norwegian multinational has bought the organic fertiliser business of Agribios Italiana in a move it says signifies Yara’s commitment to further expand its offering in this sector as a complement to mineral fertilisers and to help promote regenerative agriculture and improve soil health.

Agribios, founded in 1973, makes organic fertilisers through the “humification” of cattle, horse and poultry manures and other farm co-products, with the resulting product dried and pelleted. In 2022 it made around 60,000 tonnes of fertiliser at two production sites, giving it a 10% share of the organic-based fertiliser market in Italy.

Yara says the combination of Agribios’ expertise in high-quality organic-based fertiliser with its scale and reach in Europe, will help meet the evolving needs of European farmers, regardless of their farming method. It will also enable Yara to contribute towards achieving the European Union’s ambition to increase the organically farmed area in the EU.

The company plans to offer Agribios products to customers outside Italy through the well-established Yara sales and distribution platform in Europe, with the aim of increasing sales of organic-based fertilisers in Italy and neighbouring countries by some 30% in the next three years.

Yara cites a projection from global market research firm Kings Research that the organic fertilizer market in Europe will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.53% between 2023 and 2030.

The Agribios transaction follows Yara’s 2021 acquisition of Ecolan, the Finnish producer of organic fertilisers.

“Soil health is the foundation for resilient crop production and sustainable farming,” states Mónica Andrés Enríquez, executive vice-president Europe at Yara. “This acquisition reflects our commitment to preserve and further improve soil health, helping grow a nature-positive food future.

“Balanced crop nutrition, together with good agricultural practices and digital tools, is crucial for the regeneration of our soils,” she continues. “An analysis of more than a hundred long-term fertilizer trials shows that fertilised land has a higher soil organic matter content than unfertilised land. Using organic sources of nutrients in addition to mineral sources results in the highest content of soil organic matter.

“Therefore, this acquisition will enable Yara to maximize the synergies between organic-based and mineral fertilizers, which is integral to our regenerative agriculture offering. Used in combination, organic and mineral nutrients enhance soil health, improve resource use, increase nutrient use efficiency, and boost crops’ resistance to climate change,” Ms Enríquez concludes. “We will continue to explore ways to grow our organic-based fertiliser business so we can provide farmers in Europe with tailor-made solutions adapted to local conditions – because crops, raw material sources and climate conditions vary by country.”

Giovanni Ravagnan, chief executive of Agribios Italiana, adds: “This is a pivotal moment for Agribios as we bring our expertise in organic-based fertilisers to the European stage. The challenge is to support both organic and conventional farmers across Europe, providing them with products that enhance the quality of their crops and soils.”