Carine De Clercq, General Manager
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the consumer perspective on food. Customers want to know more about these products, understand their location of production, ingredients, and types of chemical pesticides and other contaminants in them. All things considered, this has led to a push where consumers are now demanding locally produced products due to their superior quality and natural freshness. Food production and manufacturing companies are aware of this trend and are under tremendous pressure to follow the standards required to address this need. Food companies thus need high-tech laboratories that facilitate faster analysis and results for quality control, specifically for measuring additives in produce. Contributing to the enhancement of food safety, product quality, and sustainability is Primoris, a spinoff company of the University of Ghent, in Belgium. The company operates testing laboratories for analysis of pesticides and contaminants in food and feed. Serving clients across the globe, the company focuses on maximizing the profit for organizations by monitoring pesticide residues in the food products with new and innovative technologies. Primoris has laboratories in 4 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia and Costa Rica.
Carine De Clercq, general manager of Primoris asserts that the company offers a complete package of services to food organizations with the combination of analysis, certification, and consulting activities. Leveraging two decades of experience, the company caters to a wide range of customers, including grower associations, fruit and vegetable cooperatives, processed food companies and retailers.
Primoris specializes in analyzing fresh products, processed products, baby food and animal feeds to ensure that all of these products meet the pesticide residue standard of the marketplace for food safety. In the case of baby food products in particular—such as infant formula and followon formula—the company ensures that they satisfy the specific nutritional requirements of healthy infants and young children as per the Commission Directive 2006/141/ EC. Similarly, Primoris makes sure that every food product and animal feed is tested for quality and pesticide residues. Moreover, the company verifies that organic products meet the specific requirements for residue levels in organic products. Primoris’ product management department keeps track of new technology, innovations, and trends of the market to upgrade its services accordingly to address the challenges of the clients.
Primoris is approved by various food safety agencies of different countries such as the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), the French Directorate General for Food (DGAL), and Ministere de la Sante du Luxembourg, and thus makes it a reliable partner for its clients. “We are a part of Relana, a quality circle of laboratories in the field of pesticide and contaminant analysis that commit to the highest standards of services,” says Carine. German-based organization Relana(stands for reliable analysis) focuses on securing the quality and integrity of performed analysis within the food chain by offering an open and constructive exchange between the laboratories. They provide Primoris with access to the latest information, regular verification of analytical processes, and undercover inspection of laboratories for better evaluation and assessment of analytics methods, to ensure the reliability of the labs. Moreover, Primoris has EN-ISO 17025:2017 accreditation for the analysis of pesticides, contaminants, and virology in food or feed. “We have one quality handbook to ensure that level of quality is the same in every Primoris laboratory,” says Carine.
Focusing on reliability, speed, and support, the company ensures that its customer care department addresses all the queries of the clients in the most practical ways. The success can be best exemplified by one of the cases where Primoris helped a client in the business of Flemish cultivated products to increase the value of their product. With the combined activities of residue analysis, certification and inspection, and consultation, the company assisted the client in producing high-quality products in Europe. Primoris believes in building a long-term relationship with the clients and therefore conducts customer satisfaction surveys every two years that help them make improvements to its services while strengthening the relationship with clients. Continuously enhancing its services and expanding its footprint across the globe, the company is now investing its resources in gaining technical knowledge on metabolite analysis and other chemical contaminants in food.