Nexa is the first Brazilian company to earn the international seal of quality issued by the International Zinc Association (IZA), an international entity which brings together the key global zinc producers. The seal certifies the purity of the zinc oxide which has been commercialized by the company which is used in the production of fertilizers for agriculture.
The possible presence of secondary metals in zinc oxide (above a certain quantity) used in fertilizers – such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chrome and lead – can damage to the human organism as well as the environment. The zinc-based products which hold the IZA seal are certified as respecting the allowed limits.
Nexa is the fifth largest zinc producer worldwide and it was the first Brazilian company to obtain the international certificate. “Gaining the IZA seal of quality is an achievement for the company but it is principally an enormous benefit for all of the zinc production chain and everybody who will use healthier agricultural products which are free from contaminants’, says Daniele Albagli, general manager of Marketing and Global Market Development.
According to the executive, the creation of the seal of quality also draws attention to the use of zinc-based fertilizers in soil that have a lack of this micronutrient. “Research shows that the presence of zinc in soil increases the rate the production scale of crops while enrichening agricultural produce. When we ingest products with a higher level of zinc, there are improvements in the immune system and in the maintenance of cells,” Albagli adds.
The IZA seal of quality was authorized by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Farming and Supplies (MAPA) and agrees that the products are within purity guidelines, the globally defined in partnership with Australian Industry Scientific Research Organization. To issue the certificate, the IZA technicians carried out laboratory analyses in product samples to verify if there is the presence of secondary metals in quantities higher than those established by organization.
The tests with the samples are repeated every three months and tests are carried out twice a year on random samples collected from the market. Furthermore, every six months the tests are repeated by independent laboratories, meaning that the company could lose its certificate should the manufacturer not maintain the quality of the product over time. If it is deemed to be necessary, IZA can further carry out audits on the certified companies.