Sarah Fedorchuk serves as Mosaic’s Vice President-Government and Public Affairs. Mosaic is the world’s leading integrated producer of phosphate and potash. Mosaic’s Florida operations employ approximately 3,000 people who are responsible for providing two-thirds of the phosphate fertilizer used by farmers across North America. Mosaic’s total economic impact to Florida is $3 billion dollars annually.
What is one thing Floridians may not know about your industry?
In everything we do, we’re committed to our employees, our economy, and our environment – and that means caring for and cultivating our land at every step of the process. At Mosaic, helping the world grow the food it needs requires us to think about better ways we can meet a growing demand while supporting sustainable agriculture. Our innovative practices include researching nutrient solutions, maintaining soil health and fostering new practices for increasing crop yields for our farmers.
We also have a dedicated team focused on improving post-mined land for future use. If you’ve visited a park, lake or golf course in Hardee, Hillsborough, Eastern Manatee or Polk counties, there’s a good chance you’ve visited reclaimed land.
Caring for the environment means caring for habitats and wildlife too. We are continually reevaluating our best practices for water stewardship and have significantly reduced groundwater usage at our facilities. Just as reclaimed land has been transformed into parks and wetlands, it’s also been transformed into farms for cattle, sod and more. Additionally, we reclaim and restore streams, the arteries of Florida’s landscape, to support critical watersheds which feed our coastlines.
As the population increases, we’re also dedicated to doing more with less. We’re tasked with the critical need of feeding more people using less land and water than ever before, while continuing to supply more phosphate for suitable crop growth. For U.S. phosphate, Mosaic is it. If we didn’t exist, Americans would be relying on Russia, Morocco and China for their fertilizer needs. American food security is dependent on a stable supply of fertilizer.
What is an opportunity and a challenge that your industry is facing?
Like many other industries, we are facing the upcoming retirements of our Baby Boomer employees. With approximately 3,000 employees in Florida, we’re always looking for new talent to join our teams at our mines, manufacturing plants and offices.
With so many retiring, there is a great opportunity for recent graduates to build their careers with us. At Mosaic, our employees enjoy numerous benefits and a dedicated focus on creating and maintaining an inclusive workforce. Our industry has a ripple effect creating jobs throughout Florida, as our work is directly tied to vendors and farmers. In addition to our own 3,000 employees in Florida, Mosaic has 3,000 contractors working at our sites, and tens of thousands more are positively impacted in fields like engineering, horticulture, environmental science, and transportation.
A challenge we have moving forward is that our competitors globally do not have to follow our stringent environmental standards and therefore can be much more competitive on price than we can (especially during market downturns). We are proud of the work we do in this space but it is a significant cost to our business.
What is one way we can unite to help grow your industry in Florida?
Education and outreach are key to understanding the vital importance of this essential industry in Florida, whose global headquarters call Florida home. Our day-to-day work is the first step in the process of growing the food we all need to survive. Joining forces for smart economic development, creating a pipeline to the workforce for recent graduates and continuing to be good stewards of natural resources are key elements of success for any industry in Florida. By working together, we can continue to make our state a destination for working families, retirees and visitors alike.
About The Mosaic Company
The Mosaic Company is one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaic is a single source provider of phosphate and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry. More information on the company is available at www.mosaicco.com.