[2 November/NZ Farmer]

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is seeking a permanent high court injunction against Quin Environmentals claiming that the Reactive Phosphate Rock (RPR) that Quin advertises is not RPR. Dr Bert Quin, the MD of Quin Environmentals, said the move was a very cynical ploy to block competition in New Zealand. Dr Quin imports its phosphate rock from Algeria and describes it as the best in the world, however he acknowledges that it does not always meet that test set by Fertmark for minimum citric solubility which determines whether a product can be described as RPR in New Zealand. Dr Quin argues the Fertmark test is outdated and protects the large fertiliser co-operatives who source their phosphate rock from disputed territory in the Western Sahara. Ballance argues in its action is protect farmers interests by ensuring that misleading claims were not made, adding that farmers expect marketing claims to be accurate and they need to know they are getting what they pay for in terms of nutrients and agronomic performance. A spokesperson added that the company had asked Quin to correct the claims before the actions were taken.