NSF continues expansion with Canadian training center merger

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

NSF continues expansion with Canadian training center merger
NSF International continues its global expansion with a merger with the Ontario-based Guelph Food Technology Centre.  The merger comes on the heels of a Peruvian food testing organization.

According to NSF, the merger means GFTC's current members and clients will benefit from a broad array of NSF food safety training, auditing and certification services that include seafood, organic and global food safety certifications and will benefit from a global network of auditors and testing laboratories.

“It’s very important to NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, to have a presence in Canada,” ​Robert Prevendar, NSF’s global managing director, told NutraIngredients-USA.

“This merger aligns well with NSF International’s strategic growth plans, as it strengthens our service capacity and global reach, significantly increasing our Canadian presence and expanding our food safety auditor team in Canada,”​ he said.

“This merger enables NSF to offer CanadaGAP, the standard recently re-benchmarked by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) and now makes NSF the largest GFSI certification body worldwide,”​ Prevendar said.

Long history in Canada

NSF International has been active in Canada for more than 50 years, Prevendar said. Among the services it provides in Canada are:

  • Product testing and certification (dietary supplements, certification to GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) benchmarked standards
  • Management systems registrations (ISO 14001, etc.)
  • Organic and gluten-free certification through QAI (Quality Assurance International).

The new  organization will be known as NSF-GFTC and will remain based in Guelph, Ontario. The NSF-GFTC team and location will remain in Guelph, Ontario, as will their dedication to helping Canadian farmers, processors and manufacturers remain competitive with innovative solutions to help improve their products and processes.  GFTC offers a variety of training and certification programs

The strong trade ties between the two countries augured well for the move, Prevendar said. And even though the regulatory environments have similarities, it makes sense to add Canadian specialists to the staff.

“The U.S. and Canadian food safety regulations are very similar, both in scope and degree, but there are still minor differences.  This merger makes it very helpful to have a Canadian entity that can provide highly focused resources to the local (national) regulations.  Given the high degree of food trade between the two countries, and the common ownership of food manufacturing and food retailing, this merger will help serve this very large and growing market very effectively,”​ Prevendar said.

Ongoing consolidation

NSF’s latest announcement is part of a wider picture of consolidation it the dietary supplement and food testing sphere.  Companies are seeking to expand their laboratory capabilities or consulting expertise or both. The merger comes on the heels of NSF’s announcement of its acquisition of Lima, Peru-based INASSA Group, a company that does food testing and facility inspections, and has connections with the Peruvian fish oil industry.

In early December, ChromaDex acquired Spherix Consulting, which provides scientific and regulatory consulting.  These were services that ChromaDex had been contracting out for itself before the acquisition.  The combined company has become a stronger player in the testing and consulting sphere, ChromaDex CEO Frank Jaksch said.

“Toxicology and safety related issues that fringe into GRAS or NDINs.  Those are just some of the things that we will be able to offer,”​ he said.

And in an earlier development, Intertek acquired Ontario-based scientific, regulatory and testing consultancy Cantox in 2010.

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