The two companies announced their intention to form a joint venture in June 2007. Although they have been working in partnership for the last nine months, it was always envisaged that that operations in Switzerland would go the new company name of Barentz-Sander as of April. Company executives could not be reached for comment on the reasons for the nine-month wait, and precise terms and conditions of the arrangement have not been disclosed. But Alex Koller, CEO of Barentz-Sander, said in a statement: "Over the past nine months we have seen that by joining the market knowledge of Sander and the pan-European approach of Barentz we have been able to grow much faster together." Through the joint venture the companies are focusing their attention on food, feed, and pharma-cosmetic market sectors. Koller reported that customers are pleased with the enlarged product portfolio - which includes ingredients, additives flavours and micronutrients - and the in-house knowledge. Rinus Heemskerk from Barentz told NutraIngredients.com last year: "If you want to break into Switzerland then you have to be Swiss."It is a market which is very difficult. The Swiss food industry and agricultural sections are very protective and it is very different to any other part of Europe. "It is a small country but a country which is well fed. At the moment they tend to buy Swiss." Privately-owned Ernst Sander, meanwhile, has been active in the Swiss market for more than 135 years and is said to have a "close client intimacy" with the Swiss industry. Batentz, meanwhile, has a strategy of being a "strong local supplier in every European market", according to chief executive Hidde van der Wal. It has recently effected a series of take overs and expansions to branch out into Turkey, Russia and India, and in February it announced the acquisition of a major stake in Vitablend Holding, a producer of antioxidants, vitamin and mineral blends and nutraceuticals for the food and pharmaceutical industries. In 2007 Barentz strengthened its bakery ingredients arm after buying Italian MDB Twello, which had been selling protein from sweet lupin beans since the 1990s in response to demand for soy alternatives, and in 2006 it bought Italian ingredients distributor Sicos. Barentz Group saw a turnover of €450m in 2007.