South Africa’s fast-growing safety and testing powerhouse Safety SA has relaunched its Food and Occupational Health and Safety divisions to position the business for growth in an increasingly safety focused market.
The division, under the banner of AssureCloud, is the largest group of sector-focused laboratories in southern Africa. Assuring safety from “farm to fork”, it caters for the entire value chain across audit, inspection, testing, certification and training.
Safety SA Group chief executive officer, Pieter Erasmus says AssureCloud has grown through acquisitions and strategic development in recent years, to position it as the food safety assurance partner of choice across the southern African food value chain.
The testing division, previously named NOSA Testing and Aspirata, is headed by managing director Venisha Bachulal, who has spearheaded the business’s growth and two acquisitions since 2017, to make it the largest environmental health practitioners in the private sector in the country, turning over more than R250 million last year.
Erasmus says the new branding consolidates the acquisitions and gives the testing division a strong identity as it grows into the future. AssureCloud fields South Africa’s largest and most comprehensive group of food safety and veterinary laboratories, with custom-built, state-of-the-art chemical and microbiological laboratories across South Africa and into Zambia, as well as highly qualified food safety auditors.
AssureCloud is an accredited Inspection Body and acts as a Department of Labour Approved Inspection Authority (AIA), with a presence in South Africa and across Africa. The company has capabilities to carry out surface and environmental sampling for the detection of Coronavirus S gene specific to COVID-19, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols for health care and public health. AssureCloud also includes South Africa’s only CO2 accredited Laboratory, the country’s first Asbestos Accredited Laboratory, and Biotoxin Laboratory, and has capabilities to carry out specialised salmonella serotype testing, quality testing for the fishing export sector, quality testing focused on the dairy sector, specialised support for the poultry sector, and nutritional labelling support. AssureCloud also has an Occupational Hygiene Testing Laboratory.
“We make sure that if people consume it; it’s safe. We test Food Safety and the quality of products at origin, throughout the value chain as well as in the environment where food is consumed – such as in quick service restaurants,” Erasmus says. He says the focus on environmental and food safety has increased considerably in recent years, due to the Listeriosis outbreak of 2017-18, and a heightened awareness around food safety globally by consumers. In addition, a drive to boost South African poultry production has increased demand for rigorous testing throughout the poultry value chain.
Life is precious
AssureCloud falls under the Safety SA group alongside SafetyCloud and MetrixCloud. With the motto ‘life is precious’, Safety SA’s risk management, health and safety products and services encompass occupational health and safety audits, OHS training and certification, environmental, food testing, quality assurance and digital solutions. Safety SA, built off the back of the acquisition of the NOSA group of companies by the Carlyle Group in 2018, is showing solid growth and is positive about its prospects for further expansion in southern Africa and abroad.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased awareness of hygiene, health and safety, the Safety SA group has seen a surge in demand for our laboratory testing and digital services, and as restrictions on movement eased, we are also seeing exponential growth in demand for workplace safety services, testing, technology and consulting,” says Erasmus.