Private equity invests in fisheries certifier

Independent, third-party certifier Food Certification International (FCI) is set to grow after receiving an investment from Certus Compliance Group, the private equity firm that acquired Scottish Food Quality Certification Ltd. last June.

The announcement came on Wednesday, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Certus Compliance Group is a new venture established in 2011 with support from London-based Canter Equity Partners to companies in compliance and information-services sectors.

Based in Scotland with regional offices in Spain and Italy, FCI bills itself as one of only a few certification bodies specializing in aquaculture, commercial fishing and seafood processing. Just one day ago, one of the fisheries that it has assessed, Ireland’s Celtic Sea herring fishery, obtained Marine Stewardship Council certification.

The investment from Certus will allow FCI “to enhance core food-safety and quality-management standards [and] client credentials in areas such as product quality, risk management of the supply chain and environmental management.”

“As part of the group, FCI will be able to offer a wider range of relevant services to our existing client base as well as provide an attractive proposition to international clients in the range, cost effectiveness and relevance of the services we provide,” said Martin Gill, FCI managing director of FCI. “Being part of such a group is the start of a very exciting journey for both FCI and our clients.”

“The Scottish food and drink industry has set itself a clear target to cement its position in an increasingly world class arena,” added Robert Morgan, Certus chairman. “The certification-based industry has the same ambitions and it is critical that our group supports food and drink producers, manufacturers and processors by providing a range of relevant services across the supply chain. The level of expertise that we will be able to demonstrate will be unprecedented both in the spectrum of services offered and in terms of client service both domestically and in international markets.”


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