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March 31st 2022

Mérieux NutriSciences enters South African pesticide market through acquisition of Hortec (Pty) Ltd

Mérieux NutriSciences South Africa has expanded its testing & consultancy capabilities in Southern Africa with the acquisition of 100% shareholding in Hortec (Pty) Ltd, a market leader in pesticide residue testing and consulting.

Established in 1997, Hortec specializes in total crop management through analytical testing and value-added consulting, utilising proprietary hardware and software solutions.

From its three ISO 17025:2017 accredited laboratories, Hortec’s analytical services include testing for pesticide residues in fresh produce, other undesirable or regulated residues such as mycotoxins and food dyes in various commodities, as well as fruit maturity indexing.  Their testing services are complemented by expert advice on fruit quality management, harvest windows, weather data, and disease models. 

Mérieux NutriSciences’ acquisition of Hortec arose from a shared ambition by the two companies to provide their clients with a complete suite of services at every stage of the value chain, from farm to fork.  “Hortec is a perfect fit for us because they share our 360° approach to providing practical & innovative solutions to customers and helping them to make science-based decisions to meet food safety goals.” says Valmé Stewart, Managing Director of Mérieux NutriSciences South Africa.

Franck Capdevielle, Vice President Mérieux NutriSciences MEA-ASPAC Region, added: “The purchase of Hortec enables us to further our ambition of providing customers with a “one-stop” solution for their food safety, quality and sustainability needs. By joining our international network of more than 100 laboratories across 27 countries, Hortec will also benefit from the shared expertise and experience within our group.”

Over the coming months, Hortec will be integrated into the Mérieux NutriSciences network, but will retain the Hortec brand name and its team of over 60 highly-skilled and customer centric staff, which their clients have come to trust over the past 25 years.


About Mérieux NutriSciences:

At Mérieux NutriSciences, we leverage over 50 years of scientific and entrepreneurial expertise to answer food industry needs. Today’s global challenges transform the way food is produced, marketed and consumed, which is why we know our clients need more than reliable analytical results; they need practical and innovative solutions that will contribute to make food systems safer, healthier and more sustainable.

From our initial expertise in microbiology and consulting, we have broadened our scope of scientific specialties into chemistry, education, certification, research, labeling, and sensory in order to offer a complete suite of services to meet our customers’ needs.

Today, we offer comprehensive solutions to support our clients, from product development to market suitability, while contributing to consumers’ health worldwide.  

Present worldwide, we are more than 100 accredited laboratories and a team of over 8,000 committed employees.

We strongly believe that together, we can create solutions to offer our planet:




About Hortec:

Hortec is a South African company with more than 25 years’ experience in the fruit industry. Previously linked to the research community, we have since grown into a commercial company providing various services to the agriculture and food sectors. Our laboratories are accredited according to ISO 17025:2017 and provide a high-quality professional service which meets the requirements of local and export markets.

The Fruit Quality Services division provides fruit quality and maturity management services to fruit producers, pack houses and exporters for a wide variety of fruit including pome, grape and stone fruit as well as other exotic fruit like persimmons and kiwi fruit

The Analytical Services division provides food safety related testing to the fresh produce and other food producing industries. Our portfolio includes testing for pesticide residues in fresh produce and other undesirable or regulated residues like mycotoxins in various food commodities.

The Weather Services division provides important meteorological data to customers including weather station owners. Our customers have direct access through our web based software (iLeaf) to weather stations, weather forecasts, frost warnings, insect and disease models as well as various climate related temperature models.



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