NSF International, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of food safety auditing, training and consulting, acquired Euro Consultants Group (ECG), a Belgium-based food safety and quality service company. The organization will now be called NSF Euro Consultants, and will become an important part of the NSF International global food division's consulting and technical services group, which is led by managing director Serban Teodoresco. Founder and ECG president Jean-Jacques Adam and ECG CEO Philippe Pierco will remain in their roles.

Both NSF International and Euro Consultants Group share a similar commitment to food safety training, auditing and consulting within the food industry. This merger with ECG expands NSF International's footprint throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as its technical capabilities in food safety and quality, which helps companies and institutions build and integrate effective food safety and quality management systems throughout the global supply chain. Services include supply chain and retail food safety auditing, training in food safety and hygiene regulations as well as in market and legal requirements and grant-funded consulting projects for the EU Food Safety Authority. Clients supported through these services include European foodservice and quick-service restaurant sectors. ECG also helps small to medium-sized enterprises and institutions with obtaining financing and market access for their products.

As a result of the merger, NSF International will have a wider geographic footprint for its food safety consulting, auditing, certification and training services. NSF Euro Consultants' clients now will have access to NSF International's extensive range of global food safety and quality services, which help food processors protect their customers and brands in every market. These include accredited services and technical expertise across all supply chain sectors such as agriculture, animal feed and welfare, produce, processing, distribution, dairy, seafood, quality management software, retail and restaurants.

Together, NSF International and NSF Euro Consultants provide global services, including:

Food fraud mitigation. In addition to ECG's strong consulting expertise, NSF helps companies identify and minimize food fraud risk throughout their complex food supply network. NSF also provides forensic analysis and advanced testing capabilities such as DNA identity testing and  chemical analysis to create a comprehensive, science-based approach to predicting and preventing fraud.

Supply chain food safety. Together, NSF and ECG can deliver food safety certification services anywhere in the world for companies seeking compliance to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked standards. NSF also brings innovative new technologies such as TraQtion, an NSF-developed quality and compliance software that helps retailers, restaurants and manufacturers      proactively manage their supply chain, sites and product quality all in one place.

Retail food safety. ECG's core competence in retail and foodservice consulting combined with NSF's leadership in training and commercial food equipment certification delivers a comprehensive training, auditing and consulting approach to food safety, particularly for multinational retail, restaurant and catering companies requiring consistent brand protection measures across all markets.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The addition of ECG's European operations to NSF's global auditing capabilities allows both organizations to provide consistent auditing and consulting services for companies producing food both in and outside of the United States to verify compliance with FSMA requirements. As Europe is a primary exporter to the United States, the food industry can count on the new company’s geographical footprint on both sides of the Atlantic.

Consumer insights. NSF clients gain access to ECG's dedicated sensory analysis labs and market research team, providing clients with market research services related to strategic positioning, commercial potential, feasibility studies, competitive positioning, product benchmarking,    customer satisfaction surveys and market research for virtually any consumer product category.

"We can now offer our clients services wherever they need them," says Jean-Jacques Adam, founder and president of Euro Consultants Group. "This includes expanded testing, training and educational services and leading-edge supply chain food safety and quality management software from NSF International's global food division. We are proud to be part of NSF International, as we believe they share our values and our passion. This merger will greatly benefit our existing and new clients, and it opens new career development opportunities for our employees."

"Euro Consultants Group brings new and expanded consulting, auditing and training services to our multinational retail, foodservice and restaurant customers, particularly for our clients operating throughout the EMEA region," adds Tom Chestnut, senior vice president of NSF International's global food division. "Euro Consultants Group has a robust network of experienced consultants and has maintained a strong reputation within the foodservice industry and at a broader institutional level. We appreciate the stalwart reputation, technical expertise and operational support that they bring to NSF International, along with their proficiency in research, training and supervision to improve food safety and quality."