LR said the buy of the UK compliance and safety specialist would strengthen the position of LRQA’s food safety assurance services and expand them into new markets.
With more than 28,000 customers in the food and beverage sector, Acoura delivers inspection, advisory and training services.
The firm is accredited by ASI, ANSI and UKAS to provide inspections for around 60 standards.
Brand protection promise
LRQA and Acoura said they will offer increased brand protection for customers through end-to-end supply chain assurance from farm to fork.
John Rowley, LRQA managing director, said the move strengthens ability to offer food safety assurance services to help customers manage supply chain, risk and compliance issues.
“The visibility of real-time supply chain information - using Acoura’s technology platform to gather and report data - together with our collective food safety technical expertise - will enable us to deliver valuable insight to customers by enabling them to benchmark their suppliers and improve risk management.”
The acquisition builds on LRQA’s use of technology to drive supply chain resilience through real-time traceability and transparency.
It will also enable the design and use of business improvement services, including customised training and assurance services for food supply chains.
One of Acoura’s clients is red meat promotion body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) for which it delivers an independent assessment service as part of the quality assurance schemes for the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork brands.
Uel Morton, chief executive of QMS, said the announcement represents a fresh chapter in the history of Acoura, previously known as SFQC (Scottish Food Quality Certification).
“Quality assurance plays a crucial role in reassuring consumers about the integrity of the meat they buy. Given Lloyd’s Register’s impressive pedigree in this field of operation, we are fully confident that Acoura will continue to fully deliver its important remit for our industry.”
Acoura certifies all of Scotland’s assured red meat and farmed salmon and around half of the UK’s dairies with audits against the Red Tractor Standard. The firm claims to be the world’s largest provider of sustainable fisheries inspections with close to 50% of the market.
David Gregory, Acoura’s non-executive chairman, said: “I firmly believe that over time, both will benefit from an increased range of global opportunities and services, as well as access to an even wider team of industry experts and specialists to collaborate with.
“This is a very exciting move for all involved and we’re determined to use the opportunity to better serve our customers, while also playing a leading role in LR’s future developments in the food and drink sector.”
Bureau Veritas in Brazil
Bureau Veritas has bought Kuhlmann Monitoramento Agrícola (KMA), a Brazilian company, specialized in monitoring and auditing services for the agri-food sector.
Agriculture and agri-food are thriving sectors and play an important role in foreign trade, said Bureau Veritas.
The firm has 68,400 employees in 1,400 offices and laboratories worldwide.
"The addition of KMA enables us to diversify our activities in Brazil and makes Bureau Veritas a market leader in one of the biggest agricultural markets in the world in upstream services,” said Didier Michaud-Daniel, CEO of Bureau Veritas.
KMA is headquartered in Pinhais, Paraná and has two laboratories.
It has 250 employees and is expected to generate annual revenues of around €12.5m in 2016.
Eduardo Kuhlmann, CEO of KMA, said it will benefit employees and strengthen trust with customers.
“Our complementary activities allow us to develop new services to continue to contribute to the expansion of agribusiness with innovative solutions.”
SGS splashes cash for third time in a month
In other news, SGS has acquired Laagrima, headquartered in Casablanca, for an undisclosed amount.
Laagrima offers testing analysis for the food and hospitality markets in Morocco.
The firm employs 28 people and is expected to generate 2016 revenues of MAD 8m.
SGS bought a 70% stake in Biopremier and a controlling stake in C-Labs in December.
Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS, said presence in Morocco reaches all parts of the value chain, from agricultural field to catering.
“This acquisition is an ideal complement to our service offering for the attractive Moroccan agri-food market, and further develops our existing network.”