Lloyd’s Register (LR), the global engineering, technical and business services organisation, has acquired Acoura, the UK’s leading compliance and safety specialists for the food and drink industry, to strengthen the market-leading position of LRQA’s food safety assurance services. LRQA is a member of the LR group and a leading provider of professional assurance services.
With over 28,000 customers in the food and beverage sector, Acoura is one of the UK’s leading providers of risk and compliance services and uses scalable supply chain technology solutions to deliver a wide range of food inspection, advisory and training services.
The acquisition of Acoura will strengthen LRQA’s position within the food sector by expanding their offer into new markets, underpinned with technology. Together, LRQA and Acoura will offer a unique proposition to the global food sector thereby delivering increased brand protection for customers through end-to-end supply chain assurance from farm to fork.
Commenting on the acquisition, John Rowley, LRQA Managing Director said, “The move further strengthens LRQA’s ability to offer a wide range of food safety assurance services to deliver additional value to the many thousands of customers that we serve worldwide by enabling them to efficiently and effectively manage their supply chain, risk and compliance issues.”
The acquisition builds on LRQA’s stated commitment of using technology to drive supply chain resilience through real-time traceability and transparency. It will also enable the design and deployment of globally specific business improvement services, including customised training and assurance services for food supply chains, leveraging LRQA’s presence worldwide.
“The visibility of real-time supply chain information – using Acoura’s technology platform to gather and report data – together with our collective food safety technical expertise – will enable us to deliver valuable insight to customers by enabling them to benchmark their suppliers and improve risk management,” summarised Rowley.
One of Acoura’s main clients is red meat promotion body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) for which it currently delivers an independent assessment service as part of the quality assurance schemes which underpin the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork brands.
Uel Morton, Chief Executive of QMS, said: “Today’s announcement represents a fresh chapter in the history of Acoura, previously known as SFQC (Scottish Food Quality Certification). Quality assurance plays a crucial role in reassuring consumers about the integrity of the meat they buy. Given Lloyd’s Register’s impressive pedigree in this field of operation, we are fully confident that Acoura will continue to fully deliver its important remit for our industry.”
David Gregory, Acoura’s Non-Executive Chairman said; “LRQA is a leader within the food and beverage sector and we are confident that through the acquisition of Acoura they will be able to offer the widest range of specialist safety and compliance services available. Additionally, as part of the wider Lloyd’s Register group, we see this as representing a great home for both our customers and our staff. I firmly believe that over time, both will benefit from an increased range of global opportunities and services, as well as access to an even wider team of industry experts and specialists to collaborate with. This is a very exciting move for all involved and we’re determined to use the opportunity to better serve our customers, while also playing a leading role in LR’s future developments in the food and drink sector.”
Acoura is accredited by ASI, ANSI and UKAS to provide inspections for around 60 standards and scopes and also have a longstanding track record of developing and delivering assurance schemes for the food and drink sector. With offices in Edinburgh and Stevenage they can call upon the services of over 400 specialist staff and industry associates to help customers across the supply chain protect their brand and safeguard consumers from harm.
Operating in their sectors for over 20 years, Acoura certifies all of Scotland’s assured red meat and farmed salmon while also providing around half of the UK’s dairies with audits against the Red Tractor Standard. Additionally, they have grown to become the world’s largest provider of sustainable fisheries inspections with close to 50% of the market.
Their technology solutions are also used by several leading hospitality providers to offer supplier compliance, menu verification, allergen identification and complaint management solutions – safeguarding millions of meals served to the public every week. www.acoura.com