March 25, 2024

Yara celebrates 20-year anniversary

This year, Yara celebrates 20 years as a separately listed company on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Over the past two decades, Yara has undergone major development and has grown to become a world leader in crop nutrition, industrial nitrogen solutions and ammonia.

Flags showing viking ship logo
Flags showing viking ship logo

President and CEO of Yara International, Svein Tore Holsether, reflects on the achievements:           

“We have gone from being unknown in a low-interest industry to being a well-known, key player in a high-interest sector. We have grown significantly, delivered strong financial returns, and contributed to solve some of the most important global challenges.”


“Every single day, everyone at Yara contributes to building a more robust food system by keeping the flow of essential crop nutrition running, developing digital farming tools for precision farming, and working closely with partners throughout the food value chain to create a more resilient food system. I believe the many crises the past few years have contributed to a greater understanding of how critical fertilizer is for not only food security but even overall security and stability,” he adds.

A proud history 

Yara’s legacy goes back more than 20 years. 

Yara – then part of Norsk Hydro – was founded in 1905 as a response to the growing famine in Europe. 1905 was also the year when Norway gained independence from Sweden. At that time, Norway – and Europe – had a great need for more efficient food production. 

“We carry our 119-year history with us in everything we do today as Yara. Today, we are 18.000 extremely dedicated employees building a solid and profitable business by contributing to solving some of the biggest global challenges in the world, as captured in our purpose to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet,” says Holsether.

Yara listed on Oslo Stock Exchange

March 25, 2004, Yara International ASA was spun off from Norsk Hydro and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Since then, Yara has grown rapidly both organically and through acquisitions. Today, Yara operates in more than 60 countries, offering a comprehensive range of products and services, including crop nutrition, industrial solutions and ammonia produced with lower emissions.

Holsether believes that the fertilizer industry's biggest challenge going forward is to secure food supplies for a growing population while at the same time decarbonizing the industry. 

“As an important part of the food value chain, it is crucial that we decarbonize fertilizer production and reduce emissions in the food value chain. We believe that there is significant value in offering low-carbon solutions combined with agronomic knowledge about best farming practices. The food system must transition to regenerative practices, to protect biodiversity and even bring cultivated land back to nature to capture and store carbon,” says Holsether.

Agronomists in field

A Norwegian industrial adventure with global impact

Yara’s commitment extends beyond essential crop nutrition. The application areas for nitrogen span across an innumerable range of industries and value chains – essential for people and for the very functioning of the societies they live in.

Yara’s ammonium nitrates enable the global mining industry, crucial for both crop nutrition and the green transition. Since 2005, Yara has contributed to reducing emissions through AdBlue®. Today, Yara is the world’s largest producer, cleaning over 1,6 million tonnes of NOx emissions annually, equivalent to about one-third of the EUs total. Yara Industrial Solutions (YIS), responsible for around a quarter of Yara’s deliveries, is an integrated and vibrant part of Yara’s value creation. And now, as it transitions to ammonia produced with reduced emissions, more new markets and application areas are unfolding.

In 2021, Yara Clean Ammonia (YCA) was established as a separate unit and is now a 100% subsidiary of Yara International. YCA is uniquely positioned to enable the development of ammonia as a tool for emission reduction. Building on Yara’s leading experience within global ammonia production, logistics and trade, YCA works towards capturing growth opportunities in low-emission fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free food production and ammonia for industrial applications. Key in this context will be to develop competitive new ammonia produced with lower emissions and secure value generating off-take sales contract. YCA has teamed up with several companies to enable the production, transport and use of ammonia produced with reduced emissions. One recent example is the announcement of Yara Eyde, the world's first ammonia-powered container ship.

Yara Birkeland ship sailing in Norway
Photo credit: Knut Brevik Andersen, Wilhelmsen Ship Service

Towards the next 20 

Holsether believes the development Yara has had in recent years lays the foundation for the industrial adventure to continue: 

“A lot has changed since 2004, but our DNA is the same. I am extremely proud of my colleagues, and it’s incredible to see how our solutions are improving livelihoods for farmers around the world, whether it’s a coffee farmer in Colombia, a maize farmer in Kenya or an orange grower in Vietnam,” he says.

Watch the video below where we reflect on how far we've come and celebrate where we are heading.

Agronomist in canola field in Germany
Agronomist in canola field in Germany

Through both organic growth and acquisitions, Yara has grown to become one of Norway’s most international companies and a world leader in crop nutrition


  • We have grown from 6.000 to 18.000 colleagues
  • We have grown our presence from 50 to 60 countries
  • We have sales in 140 countries
  • We have grown revenue from 43 BNOK to 163 BNOK (2023)