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25 Feb 2016

Western Sahara Resource Watch

Lithuanian fertilizer producer to halt phosphate imports from Western Sahara

Lifosa ends imports of Western Sahara phosphate rock

One of the biggest purchasers of Western Sahara phosphates during the years of occupation, the Lithuanian fertilizer producer Lifosa, has confirmed to [Western Sahara Resource Watch ("WSRW")] that it will halt all further imports from the territory. “The Group does not intend to purchase phosphate rock from Western Sahara in 2016 or any time over the foreseeable future”, EuroChem wrote to WSRW on 16 February 2016. Russian fertilizer manufacturer EuroChem is the parent company of Lifosa.

Lifosa has been one of the largest importers of phosphate rock from Western Sahara…The Western Sahara Resource Watch report P for Plunder 2014 ranked Lifosa as the second biggest importer globally for the reviewed calendar year…WSRW has been in dialogue with both Lifosa and its owners, EuroChem Group, since 2010. But the company’s initial reluctance to thoroughly respond to WSRW’s questions, resulted in its June 2011 delisting from the UN List of Socially Responsible Corporations. That list is maintained by Global Compact; the UN initiative encouraging businesses worldwide to adhere to the principles of corporate social responsibility. "Morocco has no right to sell the resources of the Saharawi people, as such sales only prolong the conflict. We guarantee that Lifosa's decision will be warmely welcomed by the people of Western Sahara", [Sandra Bogdanova, WSRW’s coordinator in Lithuania], said. Lifosa was the last EU importer of phosphate rock from Western Sahara.