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Updated: 03/24/2013 05:28:27PM

Mosaic company a good corporate citizen

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The Mosaic Company, a fixture in the Polk County economy, has an outsized impact on communities from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the Heartland. Its phosphate mining and fertilizer production facilities are the bedrock of local economies in Polk, Hardee, Manatee and Hillsborough counties and a planned 14,000-acre mine in DeSoto County will produce
$275 million in tax and severance revenue over the life of the mine. Mining impacts on the environment from Bone Valley to the coast and the permitting and legal challenges they entail often color people’s perceptions of the company and its employees. But often unnoticed in coverage and discussions of Mosaic is the philanthropic role the company plays in our communities and around the world.

This week The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy awarded Mosaic its 2013 Excellence Award in Corporate Philanthropy for its Mosaic Villages Project, which works with farmers in Guatemala, India and eight African countries to improve crop yields. It’s an impressive program and a deserved honor that prompted us to take stock of the charitable efforts that company has undertaken locally.

With thanks to Mosaic’s Communications Manager Kaley Miller, who coordinates most of the giving to local non-profits, we’d like to share some of the company’s recent grants, donations and partnerships. It is by no means a complete list, but we think it illustrates Mosaic’s sincere record of corporate citizenship.

In Polk County, Mosaic recently provided the rock trail to Bok Tower Gardens as part of its new 1.5-mile preserve trail. The material, from phosphate mines, is rich in fossil material and will add to the experience at the beautiful new trail.

At the regional level, Mosaic has partnered with the American Red Cross regional chapter since 2008, supports the Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota county fairs and funds hunger relief programs in central and Southwest Florida with grants to the Florida Association of Food Banks and several of its member food banks. In 2012, the company awarded grants to the Harry Chapin Food Bank for a refrigerator truck and to DeSoto’s County’s All Faiths Food Bank for an expansion of its mobile food cupboard.

In Charlotte County, Mosaic last year awarded a grant to the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition for new kitchen equipment and renovations at its Kennesaw Street shelter and has been an annual donor since 2005. It awarded a grant to the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program for the Charlotte Harbor Water Atlas project, and provided funding for conferences and festivals. The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center received a Mosaic 2012 grant for its Watershed Education Program as well as annual support for its youth education programs. The Charlotte County United Way has honored Mosaic as a “Top 10 Business Partner” since 2008.

In DeSoto, Mosaic partners with the DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce, Arcadia Rodeo, and DeSoto County Education Foundation and donated to the renovation of McSwain Park in downtown Arcadia. In Sarasota County, the company is a member of the county and North Port economic development councils and is a supporter of Vision North Port. The Mosaic Company Foundation supports the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in Osprey and awarded a grant for the expansion of Robinson Preserve. A long-time Mote Marine Laboratory partner, Mosaic supports its snook enhancement and aquaculture program and awarded a grant last year for its Sea Trek Distance Learning program.

We commend Mosaic for its generosity and community-mindedness and encourage companies of all sizes and industries to follow their lead.