WSRW urges Innophos to answer on unethical imports
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The US-Mexican firm Innophos has imported phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara for decades. As a new vessel is this week about to arrive Mexico from occupied territory, WSRW requests again about the trade.
Published 08 December 2011

On 8 December, the Japanese owned vessel 'Leo Advance' (IMO number 9442225), was spotted south of Florida, on the way to Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, where she is estimated to arrive on 10 December. The vessel contains a cargo of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

Such natural resource activity in Western Sahara is seen as in violation of international law by the UN.

Importer is Innophos Mexico, a fully owned subsidiary of the US firm Innophos Holdings, Inc. The importing firm signed a long term agreement with the Moroccan state owned phosphate company OCP already in 1992 for purchases of phosphates from the occupied territory. The agreement continued out 2010.

On 15 October 2010, Western Sahara Resource Watch sent a letter to the mother firm Innophos Holdings, Inc. WSRW underlined that the trade with Western Sahara phosphates from the occupied territory is highly unethical and in violation of international law. The firm has still not replied to the letter, which requested the trade to stop. Read the request here.

WSRW in the same letter asked when the long term agreement with the Moroccan state firm would expire. The arrival of the new vessel this week indicates that the contractual relation between Innophos and OCP could have continued, after the former 18 year agreement seemed to have expired in 2010.

Today, WSRW sent a new letter to Innophos, requesting an answer to the letter sent in 2010.

The photo above shows a vessel outside port of El Aaiun, Western Sahara, bound for Innophos in June 2008.

Confirmed: Innophos key client of Western Sahara phosphate rock

The US company Innophos admits in its latest annual report to be purchasing the conflict mineral through PotashCorp.

01 March 2018

Norway ethical council recommends exclusion of Innophos

The Council on Ethics of the Norwegian government pension fund recommended blacklisting of the US/Mexican fertilizer producer Innophos due to phosphate imports from Western Sahara. "Particular serious violation of fundamental ethical norms", the council concluded.
04 February 2015

Innophos' unethical cooperation with OCP has possibly expired

In December 2010, the long term agreement between the Mexican phosphate importer Innophos and the Moroccan phosphate company OCP expired. The trade has been going on for 18 years, and it is not known whether arrangements have been made to continue the cooperation. The firm has not yet responded to questions WSRW sent in October regarding the unethical purchases from the occupied territory.

01 January 2010