Hanover: Healthy food is becoming more relevant for people around the globe - in 2017, they spent around 97 billion US dollars (approx. 87 billion euros) on organic products. In the previous year, the amount was still less than 90 billion US dollars. TÜV NORD, which has been internationally active for years in the field of testing and certification of food and animal feed, is starting the new decade with a stronger focus on food safety. "In Europe we are specialising in the certification of organic quality and sustainable production, while in the Middle East and Asia we are expanding our laboratory capacities and services", explains Ulf Theike, TÜV NORD Managing Director responsible for the Food and Feed Safety Division.
Europe is the second largest market for organic products after the USA. In addition, most manufacturers worldwide are concentrated in this area. "Especially in Europe, consumers are increasingly concerned with the quality of food. In the retail trade, tested organic quality has become an important decision-making criterion," says Theike. "We are responding to this development by acquiring a majority stake in the Italian company CCPB." CCPB (Controllo e Certificazione dei Prodotti Biologici), with headquarters in Bologna, is a testing specialist for food and non-food products from organic and sustainable production.
CCPB is mainly active in Italy. TÜV NORD intends to push the internationalisation of the new subsidiary in order to open up the European market. Founded in 1988, more than 250 people now work for CCPB at six locations. Until now, the company has been wholly owned by the Consorzio il Biologico, an association of Italian companies active in the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products and foodstuffs from organic farming. CCPB currently has around 12,000 customers and is the third largest provider of organic product certificates in Italy.
TÜV NORD sees the expansion of food testing laboratories as a further milestone on the road to increased food safety. It was only in December that a state-of-the-art laboratory was opened in Dubai. Equipped with the latest technology, the chemists and microbiologists employed there have specialised in the testing of agricultural products, foodstuffs and water. A new food testing laboratory is also being built in Thailand, where staff will initially concentrate on microbiological tests - and later also chemical testing methods - following the official opening in autumn of this year.
1 According to the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM): shop.fibl.org/CHde/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1202/
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