ANIA, the association that represents the interests of France’s food manufacturers, will work with food testing company Mérieux NutriSciences to distribute joint publications and organise thematic workshops and events on specific food safety issues such as endocrine disruptors and food contact materials.
It will also cover topics such as the environmental monitoring of production or processing sites and international exports.
These “synergies” would allow participating manufacturers to meet traceability targets, thus guaranteeing information to “enlightened consumers”.
Managing director of Mérieux NutriSciences in France David Valenti said: “This partnership reflects our desire to be as close as possible to the food industry, especially industrial players, to help them have the best understanding and control of risks, and to prevent or anticipate future crises."
Director General of ANIA Catherine Chapalain said food quality and safety was “a top priority” for food companies and the partnership with Mérieux NutriSciences was “a very good opportunity”.
“It gives us the means to develop very many synergies with a recognised expert on these issues, whether in the scientific, technical or regulatory field,” she added.
In a joint statement, they said the collaboration was already underway and the first concrete actions would be launched “very soon”.
A subsidiary of the Institut Mérieux, founded in 1897, Mérieux NutriSciences is present in 21 countries around the world.
Earlier this year, three of its labs in Brazil came under investigation over fraudulent laboratory test results.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) said the laboratories in question aimed to “hide the sanitary conditions of the batches of animals and products, thus avoiding restrictive corrective measures by the Official Inspection Service”.
The laboratories saw their accreditation suspended pending the investigation.