The Interreg North-West (NW) Europe ReNu2Farm project aims to increase the recycling rates of the plant nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). Currently, farmers predominantly use mineral fertilisers that are a finite resource and in the case of nitrogen are energy-intensive to produce. Then again, there are several regions in NW Europe with a nutrient surplus and there have been many advances in technology that can recover these nutrients. However, there has been very little up-take overall, with these recycling derived fertilisers (RDFs). To explore the reason behind the reluctance of farmers to use these sustainable recycled products, a survey was conducted. The survey consisted of 52 questions in total and it covered topics, including, users and non-users of RDFs, advisors and future use of RDFs. The survey was available in five languages to participants in seven NW Europe countries. The results of the relevant questions that explored the desired properties of RDFs are described in this report. The desired RDF properties from an end-users perspective were explored and the outcome suggested there were several desired properties and parameters in RDF products that the respondents found important. Many of which were common among the participating countries and between RDF users and non-users, farmers and advisors. The respondents highlighted that a known fertiliser nutrient content and composition, a high organic matter content, product cost and the ease of use/ application were the most important parameters to know when selecting fertilisers. RDF users found that a nutrient ratio that fits with a crop nutrient demand was the most important quality in RDFs. However, non-users indicated the price per unit N or other nutrients was the most important. To increase the uptake and success of these sustainable recycled products the producers and policymakers must acknowledge and meet the desired properties that farmers and advisors, RDF users and non-users have highlighted in this survey. In doing so, they will gain the end-users trust and build confidence in these recycled products. Assuring the consumers of the product safety, a known and consistent nutrient content at an affordable price will encourage them to get on board with using these recycled products, and actively contribute to the circular economy.
Egan, Aoife and Power, Niamh, "Desired Properties of Recycling-Derived Fertilisers from an End-User Perspective" (2022). Technical Report [online]. Available at: https://sword.cit.ie/dptcivstenggrey/1