With the increased consumer concern about foodborne illness outbreaks and industry focus on brand protection, companies are using outside agencies to certify their safety procedures. The merger would give processors access to comprehensive farm-to-fork food safety solutions, delivered on a global scale, according to the two companies. NSF and CMi offer consulting, audit and certification services throughout the food supply chain. While NSF is more international, CMi operates mainly in Europe. Mike Thomas, Cmi's chief executive, said the combined service offerings would help food processors to reduce the risk of product contamination. Certification would also allow processors to demonstrate to regulators compliance with international standards and regulations. "The completion of this deal would bring together two highly respected organisations, which, with our combined resources and capabilities, will be able to establish a leading position in the global food safety market," said Thomas. Clients across the food supply chain, from processors and producers to supermarkets and restaurants would benefit from the combined portfolio of services, he said. NSF International said it would operate CMi as a standalone business within NSF International Food Safety LLC. CMi will leverage NSF's services to expand its presence in the UK market. CMi will also be responsible for further developing the combined entity's food safety operations in Europe. NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organisation involved in standards development and product certification among other services. NSF International Food Safety is a division of the company. The World Health Organisation has designated NSF as a collaborating centre for food and water safety and indoor environment. The company also offers organic food certification. CMi has operations in 18 countries including the UK.