Food standard inspection specialist EFSIS has been sold to an Australian company for the equivalent of £5m.

EFSIS offers a service that audits farmers, processors and retailers for compliance with the raft of hygiene and safety rules, and has operations across Europe and in Thailand.

New owner SAI Global runs a similar inspection service in other parts of the world, as well as a large multinational publishing and training business.

Kevin Roberts, director general of the Meat and Livestock Commission, which co-owned EFSIS before the sale, said he was delighted

“They have all worked hard to build the brand and company, but we now feel this is an opportune time to sell our interest and allow EFSIS to concentrate on expansion overseas.”

The Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association was the other owner of EFSIS, and a spokesman said it had been a difficult decision.

The deal is expected to add around £8.5m to SAI’s turnover in its first year, according to chief executive, Ross Wraight.

Mark Proctor will stay on as managing director of EFSIS.