Covance is to open its first nutritional chemistry and food safety laboratory in Europe to be closer to customers.
The 10,000 square foot lab will form part of its existing facility in Harrogate, England, which includes 56,000 m2 of laboratory space and more than 1,000 employees.
In the first year of operation, 25 positions are expected to be added and more than 100 roles within the first five years of operation.
Open by end of 2014
The firm has not set a specific date for a grand opening but is aiming to complete renovations, recruitment and validations, including ISO accreditation, before the end of the year.
Brad Riemenapp, VP and general manager, nutritional chemistry and food safety (NCFS) told FoodQualityNews.com that the lab will be the first for the NCFS business in Europe.
“We have four nutritional and food safety sites globally, three in the US and one in Singapore,” he said.
“There are two main reasons, one, we work with a number of clients in the EU already and they used to ship samples to the US and this will give us a local presence.
“The second reason is the world continues to get smaller in respect to food and existing customers in the US were asking us to move into the EU.”
Stricter food control
Riemenapp said the labs specialism fell into two buckets, nutritional labelling and food contamination testing.
“The demand is from less and less contaminants allowed in food, the detection levels are lower so the product is safer and free of contaminants.
“The big demands coming our way are underlined by the human population expecting high standards on the food they eat and the regulations are getting more stringent, so there is a higher requirement of testing in nutrition for healthy and safe food.”
He said the laboratory will offer high resolution mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography.
The lab will complement existing Madison, Wisconsin, Battle Creek, Michigan, Greenfield, Indiana and Singapore facilities.
A £575,000 ($975,000) grant from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Business Growth Programme, through the Government's Regional Growth Fund, will help fund contaminant testing research.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds city region local enterprise partnership, said: “The expertise and intelligence behind this new research into nutritional health and food testing puts the Leeds City Region on the map and enhances our reputation as a great place to do business.”