Canberra — The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) has welcomed, in a press release issued Monday, the decision taken by Impact Fertilisers to halt importing phosphates from the occupied territories of Western Sahara, calling on Incitec Pivot to follow suit.
"This is excellent news, although it would be even better if the company would undertake not to import this controversial phosphate until the conflict in Western Sahara is settled," said Ms. Cate Lewis, AWSA Vice-President.
The release added that this is the second Australian importer of the conflict phosphate to put their imports on hold after Wesfarmers/CSBP, urging Incitec Pivot to "follow suit and to do the right thing."
According to the statement, Mr. Jim Mole, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Impact Fertilisers wrote on 21 October to AWSA stating "Impact Fertilisers has not sourced phosphate rock from Western Sahara for a considerable period of time now... Additionally, we have no current plans to source product from this region in future."
AWSA has on multiple occasions drawn the attention of Impact Fertilisers to the illegal and unethical nature of their trade with Morocco in the phosphate from Western Sahara.
It should be recalled that on 30 September this year, the Swedish government pension fund, following advice from its Ethical Council, divested from Incitec Pivot Ltd as a result of its trade in phosphate from Western Sahara.