Acquistion extends global reach, says Intertek

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Food industry Food processing

Global food quality and safety analysts, Intertek, has acquired a Poland-based food testing laboratory, EKO-LAB, claiming increased demand for expert food testing in Eastern Europe.

According to Intertek, EKO-LAB’s testing services include the assessment of the levels of pathogens, bacteria and other microorganisms in food, the measurement of hygiene levels in food production lines, the calculation of the protein, fat and carbohydrate components of food, as well as sensory analysis, whereby clients can benchmark products they are developing on their organoleptic aspects, or the taste, smell or colour of a product.

The international safety services provider said that EKO-LAB is another valuable acquisition for the company that is in-line with its strategy of increasing its support to existing and new customers and extending its geographic footprint.

According to Sarah Ogilvie, Investor Relations Manager at Intertek Group in London, the Polish lab will be able to support Intertek’s clients worldwide with reliable laboratory testing and expertise in the region:

"Globally we work for companies such as Carrefour, Auchan, Metro and Nestle in food. Many of the major food companies are seeing Poland as having huge potential in Central Europe in terms of food production and retailing, and a lot of foreign retailers are increasing their presence there.

"For these retailers and brands, food quality controlling is an important part of any expansion in new or growing markets. The lab will serve Central and Eastern countries as a centre of testing competence in the region, "​ added Ogilvie.

Auditing

She told FoodProductionDaily.com that Intertek provides auditing services for food companies and helps brands to ensure their suppliers are meeting standards: "We can see demand for auditing services in Poland and Eastern Europe, which the new laboratory in Poland will allow us to expand in the region.

"Auditing of suppliers and of supply-chains is key for and sought-after by major retail food brands. They want to have checks in place and peace-of-mind when sourcing and supplying in new and global markets that the quality and safety of products is meeting their own, as well as industry or regulatory standards,"​ continued Ogilvie.

She said that the laboratory and team, as a result of their location, have a good understanding of both the EU and Russian markets as well as the markets surrounding Russia: "This is valuable to the companies partaking in the inter-regional food trade,"​ claims Ogilvie.

Other acquisitions

Intertek also recently acquired Germany-based laboratory, Applica, to provide, according to the group, chemical analysis testing for clients’ product lines related to honey, fruits and vegetables.

Dr Jochen Zoller, President of Intertek’s Food Services, told FoodProductionDaily.com at the time that the Applica​acquisition would allow Intertek to offer unique expertise in the area of authenticity testing of food and food additives, which he claimed was a growing concern for clients.

“Strict and continually emerging regulations on food and food additives such as honey for example, coupled with the practice of applying antibiotics, banned substances and attempts to trade ‘fake food’ products (such as fake honey) in some markets is driving this increasing demand for testing by producers, packers, importers and retailers,” ​added Zoller.

Increased pressure

He claims that continual increases, evolvements, and revisions in global legislation on product safety, environmental, health, ethical, and trade security issues directly fuels the food industry’s demand and need for new types of products and services including analytical testing, certification and consultation.

“Manufacturers and suppliers alike are under pressure to expand product lines and diversity, increase speed to market, decrease cost, and mitigate supply-chain risk but maintain quality and safety throughout the business process,”​ added Zoller.

“We see some clients struggling to keep up-to-date with the pace of regulatory changes and what testing they should be doing,”​ he said.

Zoller claims that Intertek, through its team of local experts, can offer producers worldwide reliable testing services on a day-to-day basis, on site or through on demand analysis of samples, as well as provide guidance on how to tackle issues and changing regulations and standards.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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