About the FQC

Set up by farmers for farmers, the FQC was formed in 1992 initially to provide an assurance programme for the use of quality fertiliser products. Later, its role was extended to include accurate, ‘on-target’ fertiliser distribution.

Incorporated in 2001, the FQC comprises over 30 executives from across the agricultural spectrum. The Council meets twice a year to review activity, approve budgets and expenditure and discuss pertinent topics affecting the fertiliser and fertiliser spreading industries – aerial and ground.

The Council is responsible for both the Fertmark and Spreadmark initiatives.

Fertmark was devised in 1992 as a fertiliser quality assurance scheme after the government withdrew from fertiliser auditing. The scheme involves an independent audit whereby only quality products are approved and awarded with the Fertmark tick. There are currently 14 companies in the programme with over 69 registered products.

Spreadmark is a fertiliser quality assurance scheme founded by the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers Association (NZGFA) in 1998. The logo can be seen on the trucks of over 75 companies in New Zealand.

Strategic vision 

To be widely recognised across the primary sector as New Zealand’s only independent authority overseeing auditing of fertiliser nutrient products and their accurate placement on land. 

Our mission

To support the primary sector by ensuring fertiliser nutrients are independently verified as true to label and to promote and oversee accurate fertiliser and nutrient placement. 

Our principles

1. The FQC will operate independently, transparently, and credibly for the benefit of all stakeholders and users of fertiliser nutrients in New Zealand. 

2. The FQC plays a key role in signalling quality assured products which are used in a sustainable manner. 

3. The FQC maintains significant farmer input on the Executive to ensure services required by farmers are delivered. 

4. The FQC provides an industry forum for stakeholders to drive the strategic direction of product quality and application in New Zealand. 

5. The FQC promotes effective and efficient nutrient management and the role that nutrients play in the primary sector. 

6. The FQC promotes environmental stewardship and sustainability around nutrient application. 

Key duties:

Providing independent quality assurance of the nutrients present in fertiliser as well as independent audits ensuring quality fertiliser application are the main services delivered by the FQC. However, the Council’s role has extended to:

  • Establishing and maintaining the Fertmark Test Methods Reference Group charged with developing laboratory test methods.
  • Establishing the Agronomic Expert panel to adjudicate issues of agronomic trials and promotional claims of all fertiliser products sold in New Zealand.
  • Promoting to farmers the value of Fertmark and Spreadmark schemes.
  • Promoting to regulators, from central, regional and district government the role of fertiliser products for New Zealand’s productive land.