Covance and Kellogg’s – two companies that have worked together for more than 30 years – have signed a seven-year “strategic collaboration” , that will see Kellogg’s pay Covance $42m for work principally conducted at the new plant.
But the facility, which Covance corporate communications director, Laurene Isip, said was partly a response to food scares such as melamine and salmonella, would be able to accommodate other players.
“This is a good opportunity for us to tap into market needs for food safety,” ISIP said of the plans that will see the state of Michigan and the city of Battle Creek inject about $4.3m into the project that is forecast to create more than 40 jobs. “The lab is open to anyone to use.”
The facility represents a “significant expansion of Covance's microbiological food safety testing capability,” the company said in a statement.
It is affiliated with the National Center for Food Protection (NCFP) in Battle Creek, a global food protection resource development and collaboration network initiated through the efforts of Battle Creek Unlimited, an economic development organization.
"We are excited to expand our contributions to improving and protecting the global food supply. Food safety is top of mind among consumers, manufacturers, regulators, and legislators amidst recent food safety outbreaks," said James Lovett, corporate senior vice president of Covance.
"We appreciate the confidence a high-quality organization like Kellogg's has placed in us, and we look forward to further growth through expanding our relationships with other valued clients in the region and through supporting the NCFP. We also look forward to becoming a more active participant in the Battle Creek community."
"We are pleased to have Covance, a market leader in nutritional testing, support NCFP's efforts," said Stephen Benoit, president and chief operating officer of NCFP. "Covance's involvement will help us establish the Food Testing Center for Excellence that will greatly benefit Michigan-based and other leading food manufacturers."