21 Sep 2023
by Oli Hill, Jo Gilbertson

AIC at 20: Collaborating to advance the industry's Fertiliser Manual RB209


As AIC marks 20 years as the UK agri-supply industry’s leading trade association, we're looking back at some of its greatest achievements since it was founded in 2003.

Each week throughout 2023, we’ll explore a major achievement where AIC represented its Member businesses, promoted the benefits of modern commercial agriculture in the UK, and supported collaboration throughout the food chain.

This week we review how AIC worked with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) on advancing the Fertiliser Manual RB209.

Valuable resource

For decades the Fertiliser Manual, also known as RB209, has helped UK farmers and growers make the most of mineral fertilisers and organic materials. This year RB209 is celebrating it's 50th anniversary.

The guide explains the value of nutrients, soil health and promotes good nutrient management.

In 2014, Government spending cuts risked undermining the future credibility of the Fertiliser Manual and the ability to update it as regularly as the industry required.

Since it is the main recognised guideline to demonstrate legal compliance, AIC believed that the Government should retain ownership of the Fertiliser Manual.

However, it also recognised that a cost-saving drive with the industry was necessary to achieve a more dynamic approach to the process of updating the guidance within the Manual.

Building the case

AIC, in partnership with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), developed a business case for a new preferred approach to revising the Fertiliser Manual.

This presented the merits of a more strategic plan between the Government and industry, which included setting out research priorities, linking trials data to maximise value, and providing research results in a format which facilitates easy revision of the Manual.

In 2017, AHDB launched its inaugural RB209 edition, with subsequent updates arriving annually to take account of the latest information and provide farmers and growers with quality, reliable advice.

View and download the latest RB209 on the AHDB website.

Watch the video below to find out more about AIC and the fertiliser sector.

Make sure you're following AIC on X and LinkedIn for regular updates.

Visit the AIC at 20 webpage for more content like this.


Oli Hill

Oli Hill

Communications Manager, AIC

As Communications Manager, Oli creates and oversees the content published on AIC's website, emails, Member briefings, print publications, and social media.

A qualified multimedia journalist, he previously spent six years working at Farmers Weekly magazine as a Senior Reporter on the arable team, and latterly as Community Editor. More recently he was Communications Manager at Red Tractor.

[email protected]
01733 385230

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Jo Gilbertson

Jo Gilbertson

Head of Fertiliser, AIC

Jo Gilbertson is AIC’s Head of Fertiliser and is based at our Head Office in Peterborough.

Jo is responsible for the management and co-ordination of all matters relating to the production and distribution of fertilisers on behalf of Members.

Graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Health, he has additional post graduate qualifications in air pollution control, health and safety, advanced negotiation skills, and quality assurance management.

Jo has previously worked in local government as an environmental health officer, before spending 17 years in senior management roles in Tesco, handling legal and governmental affairs, and latterly managing a business unit in their corporate marketing department.

[email protected]
01733 385278

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