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FOOD & BEVERAGES: Swift's Joint Venture In Food Safety

 



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The largest privately-owned commercial food and product safety company in South Africa, Cape Town-based Swift Micro Laboratories, has concluded a joint venture with international company Mérieux NutriSciences Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, US - a global leader in food safety, quality and nutrition.

This largest of its kind deal for an independent South African food and product safety company 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.

According to Valme Stewart, Managing Director and majority shareholder of Swift Micro Laboratories, this deal is recognition of the leading role that Swift has been playing in the food and product safety arena for the past 21 years, as well as South Africa’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,” says 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 says that the joint venture will 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 R&D Departments, which will allow us to up-skill our staff, as well as offer additional innovative products and services to our clients.” 

According to Philippe Sans, President & CEO of Mérieux NutriSciences, the joint venture investment is 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 South Africa and the fast developing African market. 

During initial discussions with the Swift management team, we found commonality in a strategic vision and in our values of excellence, integrity, innovation and accountability dedicated to customer satisfaction. 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,” says Sans.

Stewart explains that, from an investment perspective, South Africa is perfectly positioned as a gateway to Africa. “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.


 
 
 
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