Situated in Wageningen, the heart of one of Europe’s food development hubs, Develop & Comply is part of Bruin-Kühn & Partners. It has been created to answer questions on product development, technical matters and regulations.
The compliance side is handled by a sub-division called EU Food Comply, which brings on board expertise and contacts from FoodLink Forum, the European Institute for Food Law, and Wageningen University – as well as from Bruin- Kühn itself.
Dr Cecilia Kühn, director, told FoodNavigator.com that the new service has come about in response to requests from the industry. Similar know-how services have been offered by Foodlink Forum for the last ten years (which is not part of Bruin- Kühn but is described as a “sister-company”. Kühn is also the founder and director of that entity), but its services were seen as too diversified.
Kühn said, increasingly, companies have been asking for support that combines product development expertise with regulatory affairs knowledge, so they can resolve issues in one go.
In the past companies have had to consult a lawyer, who would certainly know about the regulations but may not be able to link this in with technological know how. This means added fees, and a slower process to bring the product to market.
Develop & Comply has a pool of consultants working across both services. “There is cross-over, but some companies only require the legal part.”
Regulatory hot potatoes
Areas that are generating a lot of work at the moment are the new nutrition and health claims regulation, and changes to the novel foods processes.
“Companies are wanting to know whether how is a good time to introduce products, or whether they should wait.”
These laws involve compilation of dossiers on scientific evidence for efficacy and/or toxicology, and the consultancy says it can help with that.
In addition, EU Food Comply can check labels, and check on ingredients that are permitted in the EU, and at what levels.
It says it has “the ability to access the right person in a timely fashion within key organizations, such as DG Sanco, EFSA and the various food law bodies within Europe”.
The consultancy’s client base is made up of EU companies targeting their home market, and international companies seeking to introduce products in the EU.
Within the fast-moving R&D area, Develop & Comply aims to keep clients up to date with “latest industrial know-how in product development”.
It builds on Foodlink Forum’s track record in providing in-house training and workshops to R&D teams in Europe, the US and Japan – but with a more a specialised approach.
Kühn said: “Not only is the European market continually evolving, but we are all now bombarded with information. Through Foodlink Forum, we select training and provide the necessary tools to understand those developments and regulations that are pertinent to today’s environment, achieving a thorough grounding in those areas of most importance.”