Interview with Grant Cochrane

Grant Cochrane
Grant Cochrane

We assess natural chemical concentrations in fibres
New Zealand-based Oritain is a global leader in using forensic science to determine food, fibre and pharmaceutical provenance. It protects firms' reputations by identifying and mitigating well-known risks in the supply chain. Its customers include GE Healthcare, ThermoFisher Scientific, Compass Food Group (UK) and Wools of New Zealand. It has close ties with the University of Otago and boasts leaders in the fields of chemistry and statistics who ensure delivery of innovative, effective and robust solutions. Company CEO Grant Cochrane speaks to Fibre2Fashion about the need for supply chain transparency.

What is your growth story since the company's inception?

Oritain was established in 2008. We were a spin off out of the University of Otago, where some entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to commercialise technology to help businesses manage their exposure to counterfeit in supply chains.

Tell us about the scientific solution offered by Oritain for the cotton and textile industry.

The unique advantage of our service is we are a true product test. We do not add any tracers, taggants or barcodes. We test the fibre in its natural state and are able to verify its true origin. The science originated in the criminal forensic field and we are applying it to food, fibre and pharmaceuticals. Tell us about the scientific solution offered by Oritain for the cotton and textile industry.

What are the traceability challenges that have been faced by the cotton and textile industry in recent years?

It is a known industry problem where illicit blending and substitution occur at various stages in the supply chain. Without a good tool to manage the problem, it will continue to spiral like the Egyptian scandal in 2016.

What is the involvement of JG Boswell Company, Auscott Limited of Australia and Welspun India Limited in the scientific traceability solutions?

All three businesses are customers of Oritain and are committed to protecting the integrity of the product they provide in the market. Oritain has built a database of genuine cotton from JG Boswell and Auscott farms and is able to test it throughout the supply chain. Welspun is a manufacturer of home textiles for 17 of the top 30 retailers in the world. It is committed to providing products their customers can trust so that they are using Oritain to compliment their existing traceability methods.

What is the peculiarity of this traceability solution?

It is an actual product test that is very reliable and requires no change to the manufacturing process. Oritain measures the natural chemical concentrations within the fibre and is able to link them to where the fibre was grown. What is the peculiarity of this traceability solution?

How does this solution help maintain transparency in the supply chain?

Once there is a chance of being caught, offence decreases. Oritian tests hundreds of samples throughout the supply chain and if blending or substitution is occurring, the offenders will get caught.

Is there any certification process that your suppliers follow to guarantee that the raw material is indeed organic through the value chain?

Oritain offers certification to customers who enter license agreements with us. Our company certifies origin, not if a product is organic. But it is possible to prove if a fibre has come from an organic origin, i.e., a farm.
Published on: 13/11/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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