Gluten-free food certification program launches in North America
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has formed an alliance with the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), developed by the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA), to launch the first gluten-free certification program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in North America.
“The GFCP alliance means consumers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity will have more choices, greater assurance and an easier way to identify gluten-free products that are trusted and safe,” says Alice Bast, president of NFCA. “The GFCP has already achieved great success in Canada, and we are eager to expand its benefits to our community here in the U.S.”
The GFCP will provide consumer guidance and protection by differentiating certified products from the increasing gluten-free claims in the marketplace. The program requires annual certification audits conducted by independent ISO accredited auditing companies, which ensures that certified products meet the industry’s most stringent gluten-free food safety requirements in the U.S. and Canada.
According to NFCA, this third-party relationship is a critical and defining part of the GFCP, as it eliminates any conflict of interest between the manufacturer’s relationship with the program, its certifying bodies and the NFCA.
“We at the GFCP are very excited about our partnership with the NFCA,” says Paul Valder, president of GFCP. “By combining the endorsement of the NFCA and their strong industry relationships, together with the technical strengths of our program, I am confident we will be able to deliver a comprehensive value proposition that is yet to be seen in the U.S. marketplace.”
Peter Taylor, executive director of the CCA, adds, “NFCA shares the CCA’s mission to protect consumers with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity and will lend a strong voice to the call for safety and accountability as demonstrated by GFCP standards. We embrace their participation in this important cross-border commitment.”
To learn more about the GFCP, visit www.gf-cert.org.