Cotecna provides testing, inspection and certification services to facilitate trade and make supply chains safer and more efficient for its clients. Founded in Switzerland in 1974, this family-owned business has now grown to become a world-class international player with over 3,000 employees in more than 100 offices across approximately 50 countries. Its trusted network of professionals and certified laboratories provide expertise across some key sectors: agriculture & food, minerals, metals & fertilisers, and government & trade.
Grain products are an essential source of staple food for humans and livestock, and their global trade is highly dependent on various factors such as weather, crop yields, input prices, political decisions, demographics and diet trends. In order to minimize the impacts of this variability and to protect end-consumers, the grains industry requires integrity, safety and sustainability.
Cotecna, a proud member of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), offers a seamless access to a high-calibre and comprehensive suite of customised agriculture inspection and testing services to help industry players closely monitor their activities in accordance to these principles. Cotecna thereby performs verification, weighing and sampling, plus testing and certification of grain products and processes across the entire supply chain. Each service is designed to assist the industry in confidently producing, handling, transforming and commercialising their products, while maximizing profitability, ensuring contractual conformity and greater transparency.
Cotecna is present in all key grain markets, where it offers its specialized services covering all types of grains such as wheat, corn, barley, rice, sorghum, oats, pluses, etc. These services range from independent assessments of the quality and quantity of the product to monitoring of transport and storage conditions.
From field to end-users, Cotecna’s experienced inspectors and analysts can establish the complete traceability of a grain shipment, thus protecting the interests of both producers and traders, and reducing exposure to risks that can arise due to delays, damages and losses. It allows clients to react swiftly at every stage of production.
Inland, Cotecna’s specialists perform on-site grading, weighing and testing. Silos and warehouses intake and outtake services can also be offered, as well as crop monitoring.
At load ports, Cotecna provides numerous services such as quality and quantity pre-inspections, holds inspections, loading supervision, weight determination surveys using shore scales and/or draft surveys and marine surveys. The resulting quantity and quality determinations are then certified and used for the financial settlement of the sale contract covering the cargo. A constant monitoring of the loading process including sampling is essential. Samples are analysed in accredited laboratories according to the required national and international standards, which are specific to the transaction.
During loading, express analyses are performed to monitor the main parameters, and Cotecna informs its clients immediately in case of any quality deviation. A monitoring of the fumigation process can also be offered. Before the voyage, Cotecna’s inspectors will seal the holds of the vessel.
At discharge ports, Cotecna’s intervention typically includes weight determination, as well as sampling and analysis. When opening the holds, the cargo is visually inspected, especially in order to detect water damages and other types of contamination.
When it comes to storage, Cotecna can offer stock monitoring services in order to improve access to financing for borrowers. It covers a large range of bespoke services, going from the pre-inspection of storage units to the monitoring of deliveries of stored goods to end-users, going through regular checks of stocks and even full-time supervision of stored goods. Thus, Cotecna mitigates transaction risks for lenders and assist in compliance with the requirements of the Basel frameworks for traders.
To stay competitive in this market, Cotecna is continuously investing in modern facilities and cutting-edge equipment, including in the fields of proximate chemistry, molecular-genetic and phytosanitary expertise, especially by developing its own phytosanitary research and analysis department to meet increasing demand for such services, for example related to Egypt. Cotecna is thereby reinforcing its capabilities by strengthening its network coverage as well as laboratories and field capabilities through both acquisitions and organic growth.
In 2017, Cotecna acquired NofaGroup, headquartered in Rotterdam, which runs a state-of-the art laboratory for agricultural products and recently received an accreditation from the RvA (Dutch accreditation council) to analyse 3-MCPD and glycidyl esters. Cotecna has recently opened new facilities and operational bases for inland and at ports inspections and testing in North America (USA — including a brand-new ISO 17025-accredited laboratory — and Canada), in Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar), and in Bulgaria. In September 2018, Cotecna also completed the acquisition of Shiva Analyticals (India) Private Limited, one of India’s foremost analytical testing laboratories.
Combined with Cotecna’s established international network, these acquisitions and organic developments have widened the scope of services Cotecna provides to its clients worldwide, both geographically and in terms of services offering.