|Swift in JV deal with US's Merieux|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012|
South Africa's largest privately-owned commercial food and product safety company in SA‚ Swift Micro Laboratories‚ has concluded a joint venture with international company Chicago-based Mérieux NutriSciences Corporation, a global leader in food safety‚ quality and nutrition.
The deal will provide Swift Micro Laboratories with an international partner and access to the state-of-the-art research‚ methodologies and services of Mérieux NutriSciences‚ who employs more than 4 000 people working in 65 laboratories in 17 countries.
Valme Stewart‚ MD and majority shareholder of Swift Micro Laboratories‚ said the deal was recognition of the leading role that Swift had been playing in the food and product safety arena for the past 21 years‚ as well as SA’s unique position and expertise to service the growing African market.
“To date‚ we have declined partnership approaches from global corporations‚ but the venture with Mérieux NutriSciences‚ and in particular their food safety & quality division‚ Silliker‚ is a natural fit‚ as we not only share similar approaches towards food and product safety‚ but also share global clients that operate in Southern Africa‚” said Stewart.
Under the new brand name - Swift Silliker - Swift Micro Laboratories will in future act as the African arm of Silliker‚ and rapidly expand its service portfolio to match the global offering of Silliker.
Despite the name change the company’s legal identity‚ staff and management team remain unchanged.
Stewart said the JV would have no impact on the day-to-day operations from a staff or client perspective.
“On the contrary‚ the joint venture gives Swift immediate and continuous access to the latest technology and methods via Mérieux NutriSciences’ dedicated research and development departments‚ which will allow us to up-skill our staff‚ as well as offer additional innovative products and services to our clients.”
Philippe Sans‚ President & CEO of Mérieux NutriSciences‚ said the JV investment was in line with the company’s strategic goal to further expand its international presence and answer the many requests from customers to develop its presence in SA and the fast developing African market.
“As part of Silliker‚ Swift will benefit from the strength of the group‚ and accelerate their development with the introduction of new services for faster expansion in Africa‚” said Sans.
“The joint venture will enable Swift Silliker to expand rapidly into Africa together with our clients‚ and accelerate our ability to service the growing markets on the continent.
“There is also a growing trend amongst multi-national companies to streamline and standardise their food and product safety methodologies globally‚ which places Swift Silliker in the position to service global key accounts of Mérieux NutriSciences in Africa‚” said Stewart.
She added that food and product safety was a rapidly growing global concern‚ and that SA needed to solidify its position as a leader on the continent.
“The growing awareness has been further fuelled by recent developments such as the South African Consumer Protection Act and new South African labelling regulations.
“Consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and now have higher expectations when it comes to food and product safety‚” concluded Stewart.
Caption: Shaking hands on the deal: Valme Stewart‚ MD of Swift Micro Laboratories and Rémi Bastien, Regional Director: Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mérieux NutriSciences.
Immediate new offerings from Swift Silliker:
New conventional test Legionella method: ISO 11731:1998 – Detection and enumeration of Legionella
New automated pathogen testing laboratories – VIDAS & BAX technologies
* Salmonella rapid methods * Campylobacter testing * Listeria rapid method (3-day saving on conventional method test time)
E-learning: On-line learning centre which enables delegates to complete training courses online at their own pace.
DVD’s & posters: Quality system related learning DVDs and posters for sale.
New service from brand new department: Physical Testing of Products
Swift Silliker now has the capacity and equipment to test physical properties of products using proven international methodologies:
New service from brand new department: Food Labelling Consulting
Swift Silliker: www.swift.co.za