WSRW to Nutrien, 21 February 2018
Printer version    
Nutrien Ltd
Suite 500
122 – 1st Avenue South
Saskatoon SK S7K 7G3

21 February 2018

To the attention of Mr Chuck Magro
President and Chief Executive Officer of Nutrien Ltd

Re: Nutrien’s intention to end imports from Western Sahara and 2017 imports from the territory to Agrium and Potash Corp.

Dear Mr Magro,

We have the honour to present you our compliments. We are writing with regard to Nutrien’s continued imports from Western Sahara, its statements on 25 January 2018 on the matter, and, additionally, regarding the 2017 imports of phosphate rock from the territory through Agrium Inc and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.

To commence with the latter: in 2017, we’ve tracked nine shipments from Western Sahara to Vancouver, transporting an estimated total of 529,840 tonnes of phosphate rock with a value of around US $45.5 million. In addition, we’ve observed another five shipments departing Western Sahara with destination Baton Rouge (where Potash Corp takes in its shipments), carrying a projected total of 382,000 tonnes of phosphate rock worth approx. US $34 million.

In April 2018, we will publish our annual overview report of the Western Sahara phosphate trade for 2017. Given the above volumes, Nutrien’s legacy firms Agrium and Potash Corp will take up the top spots in the 2017 ranking of companies purchasing the commodity.

We would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
1. Can you confirm the above-mentioned volumes shipped to Agrium and PotashCorp in 2017?
2. Did Agrium and Potash Corp seek the consent of the representatives of the people of Western Sahara prior to importing from their territory?

At the same time, we take note of your stated intention to stop importing phosphate rock from Western Sahara into Canada, as conveyed at the investor conference in Whistler on 25 January 2018. It is our understanding that Agrium’s contract covering the imports will end this year. It remains to be seen how the legacy Potash Corp asset will proceed with regard to its Western Sahara imports: a decision on the matter is expected to be communicated mid-2018.

3. When exactly does the Agrium contract covering phosphate rock imports from Western Sahara end? Until that time, will more shipments be received in Vancouver?
4. Upon termination of the contract, will Nutrien consider informing the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr Horst Köhler, and with the Saharawi liberation movement, the Polisario Front?
5. It is argued that the Potash Corp imports from Western Sahara are related to the production of specialty products. What share of Nutrien’s total earnings or product range is dependent on the continued imports from the last colony in Africa? Do these outweigh the potential risk of legal proceedings brought by the Polisario Front (which is at present initiating cases against private companies in European courts)?

We remain of the view that it is in the best interest of Nutrien not to be associated with importing minerals from Western Sahara, and expect to see a clear statement from the company during the course of 2018 that it will halt all further imports.

Best regards,

Sara Eyckmans
Western Sahara Resource Watch

A copy of this letter was sent to:
- Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms Chrystia Freeland
- Canada’s United Church leader, Mr Jordan Cantwell
- United for Mining Justice social action network
- SHARE, Mr Peter Chapman
- Mining Watch Canada, Mr Jamie Kneen
- UN Special Representative for Western Sahara and Head of UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, Mr Colin Stewart
- Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Western Sahara, Mr Horst Köhler




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents. News Archive 2019 News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy