Yara acquires Finnish Ecolan to expand its organic fertilizer business

Yara has announced the acquisition of Ecolan Oy, a Finnish producer of recycled fertilizers. This is Yara’s first acquisition in the organic fertilizer segment and reflects their commitment to play a bigger role in organic farming and in contributing to the circular economy.

Yara works closely with partners throughout the food value chain to make food production more efficient and sustainable. Their crop nutrition solutions and digital tools help improve nutrient management practices and land use efficiency for all farming methods, including organic farming.

“By expanding our offerings into the growing organic farming segment in Europe, we can help improve nutrient use efficiency in this segment by capitalizing on our deep crop nutrition knowledge,” says Mónica Andrés, Executive Vice President for Yara Europe.

“Our core competence lies in managing nutrients in the most sustainable and efficient way, whether this is for organic farming or conventional farming. We want to be the leading partner for all farmers, regardless of which farming system they use,” she adds.

Ecolan utilizes industrial side streams to produce high quality fertilizers for agriculture and forestry.

“Ecolan is a Finnish front-runner in the circular economy. We have had good cooperation during the past years and now we are able to combine Yara’s and Ecolan’s knowledge and expertise to develop recycled fertilizers even further. With this acquisition, we will be able to offer organic fertilizers also to markets outside Finland,” says Timo Räsänen, Director for Specialty Products for the Nordic and Baltic countries at Yara.

As a result of several years of research and development, Yara brought a new organic fertilizer line with a high nitrogen content, which was produced by Ecolan, to the Finnish market in 2019.

“Starting from small-scale production, Ecolan has with the support of Korona Invest grown into one of Finland’s leading circular economy industrial companies. Through Yara’s ownership, Ecolan’s know-how can be utilized also internationally,” says Vesa Lehtomäki, Chairman of the Board of Korona Invest, Ecolan’s majority owner.

Today many organic waste streams are not being reused or recycled. Recovering nutrients from waste streams and bringing them back into agricultural production helps contribute to a circular economy and reduces nutrient losses. The European Green Deal encourages scaling up and promoting circular business models and increasing the share of European Union farmland under organic farming.

The circular economy has an important role to play in improving nutrient use efficiency, which is one of Yara’s core areas of expertise. Through their strategic partnerships with waste management and food companies, and by leveraging our crop nutrition knowledge, Yara is working to find optimal ways to recycle nutrients that would otherwise end up as waste and then process these to produce organic fertilizers.

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.