It seems insurmountable that less than a month ago I was in the US at SynGas 2020 meeting many of our wonderful readers and contributors.
However, only a week after I arrived back in the UK our offices joined the approximately 3 billion people currently working remotely from home as the country was put into lockdown in efforts to flatten the curve. The rapid pace and spread of COVID-19 has transformed the way most of us live our lives, creating an almost universal feeling of uncertainty and confusion.
For many in this industry working from home is not an option, as synthetic fertilizer is responsible for feeding approximately 50% of the global population. Thus, continuing an undisrupted supply of fertilizer to farmers during this crisis is paramount. This was recognised by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who has listed fertilizer employees as essential workers and the fertilizer industry as one of the nation’s critical infrastructure industries.1
Therefore, companies have had to take special effort in order to keep production facilities working as normal, including reducing the number of people on sites, upgrading IT infrastructure to support increased remote working, ensuring stocks of critical raw material as well as supply chains, and implementing stricter hygiene measures in accordance with government guidance.
Amidst this international crisis, it is important for us to focus on the good, in our own lives and throughout the world. As the fertilizer industry keeps working to supply farmers in order to feed our nations, so too do our lorry and transit drivers, our supermarket workers and our local convenience store employees. It is inspiring to witness and read about how communities have rallied together, to support and bring supplies to those who are isolating due to sickness or vulnerability. Every day, as we are faced with news of the growing number of cases and deaths, we are also inundated with videos of balcony, rooftop and patio concerts, as well as live exercise videos and celebrity performances on social media accounts such as Instagram.
In our own personal piece of good news, our Sales Manager Ben Macleod and his wife Aimee welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world on 3 April 2020.
While it remains to be seen for how long we will be required to remain at home, be rest assured that World Fertilizer will continue to keep the industry informed and up-to-date. If you are currently working from home, I'd encourage you to add our website (www.worldfertilizer.com) to your bookmarks and follow us on social media to guarantee to receive the latest fertilizer news. And if you haven't already, why not download the World Fertilizer app to your smartphone or tablet to ensure that you continue to receive a free regular copy of the magazine, wherever you are. More details about the app can be found on p. 45 of this issue.
We will also continue to work closely with the industry to ensure that we bring you innovative new digital products to keep the industry well informed, especially in these unfortunate times when many of our long-standing partners have had to postpone or cancel key industry events.
From all of us at Palladian Publications, whether you are an essential worker or are currently at home helping stop the spread, we thank you for your efforts during this time. Stay safe and I hope to see you soon at another event when this is all over. In the meantime, please enjoy the latest edition of World Fertilizer.
- GLEN, C., 'TFI Applauds DHS Move to Designate Fertilizer Industry as Essential,' (19 March 2020), www.tfi.org/newsroom/2020/Fertilizer_Listed_Essential