Fertilisers used to enrich soil and animal feedstuffs (food fed to animals including pet food) are controlled by sets of European Union legislation. This webpage gives a brief explanation of the applicable requirements.

Complaints relating to the labelling and composition of fertilisers and feedstuffs are dealt with by our Commercial Environmental Health Team.


The legislation controlling the composition and labelling of fertiliser is complex. The following is a summary of the labelling requirements that should appear on fertiliser packaging.

Information that must appear on a fertiliser label:

  • The name of the material
  • Any secondary nutrients present in the material
  • The nutrient content indicated in numbers, this depends on the material but commonly you will see N, P, K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus pentoxide, Potassium oxide) each followed by a percentage
  • The name and address of the person responsible for marketing the material
  • The weight or volume of fertiliser
  • Directions regarding storage, handling and use to avoid accidents with liquid fertilisers
  • The name of any pesticide or herbicide, which has been added
  • If the fertiliser contains trace elements it should be labelled "to be used only where there is a recognised need. Do not exceed the appropriate application rate"

Optional information

  • Trademark of manufacturer
  • Trade description of product
  • Directions for storage, handling and use

Some fertilisers are designated as EEC or EC fertilisers, this will be stated on the label and these are not permitted to contain pesticides or herbicides.


Animal feedstuffs includes pet foods. The animal feed legislation covers the following:

  • The additives (vitamins, colourants, flavourings, binders, and so on) authorised for use in animal feed
  • The maximum levels of various contaminants (e.g. arsenic, lead, dioxins and certain pesticides)
  • Certain ingredients that may be not used in feed
  • The nutritional claims that can be made for certain feeds
  • The names and descriptions, which must be applied to various feed materials (that is ingredients fed singly)
  • The information to be provided on feed labels'

Pet food is subject to similar controls with respect to authorised additions and level of undesirable substances. Pet food should not contain more then the permitted levels of undesirable substances.

See also

Feed premises register

Related websites

Animal feed (FSA website)

Contact us

Food and Safety
Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Tel: 020 8545 3025