About the FQC

Set up by farmers for farmers to support the sector by ensuring fertiliser nutrients are independently verified as true to label and to promote and oversee accurate fertiliser and nutrient placement.

The Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) was formed in 1992 to provide an assurance programme for the use of quality fertiliser products. Later, its role extended to include accurate, ‘on-target’ fertiliser distribution.


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.

How the council works

Incorporated in 2001, the FQC comprises over 30 executives, from across the agricultural industry, who are responsible for both the Fertmark and Spreadmark initiatives.

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.

Fertmark was devised in 1992 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. The fertiliser companies pay a levy per tonne of accredited product purchased.

Spreadmark was founded by the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers Association (NZGFA) in 1998 to ensure the proper and even placement of fertilisers is of considerable agronomic benefit to farmers and growers and protects the environment from undesirable ‘off target’ waste.

The Spreadmark logo can be seen on the trucks of over 75 companies in New Zealand.

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.

Heap of composite mineral fertilizers, isolated on white background

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 to increase the sustainable use of fertilisers and nutrients.
  • Promoting to regulators, from central, regional and district government the vital role of fertiliser products for productive land use.


The members of the Society are:

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