The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy and education, is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our food safety business group program, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). Now in its second decade of existence, GFCO has grown into an global industry leader, certifying more than 30,000 products and 1,600 gluten-free brands worldwide. The GFCO certification label, the Certified GF circle you find on all products that test to the program’s stringent 10ppm of gluten or less standard, is recognizable to nearly every consumer and has become a symbol of trust and unification for the gluten-free community.
“If you are a gluten-free consumer, odds are good that you have an item in your kitchen, pantry, or refrigerator that has the GFCO certified symbol on it,” says Chris Rich, Vice President of Development for GIG. “The Circle GF is symbolic of the pride that our community has in living the gluten-free life. I’ve seen it everywhere from sewing patterns to being the artwork of a tattoo on a person’s arm.”
Since 2005, GFCO has certified products for more than 750 companies. The first company to receive independent gluten-free certification, Enjoy Life Foods, continues to hold their certification today. All Enjoy Life products are certified gluten-free and free-from the eight most common food allergens (NO: wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish), making them safe for over 100 million individuals who live with food intolerances.
“Enjoy Life is committed to offering worry-free products that stand up to the highest certification standards, “says Joel Warady, Enjoy Life Foods’ Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “We’re thrilled to be the first brand to claim Gluten-Free Certification under GFCO and are very confident in the certification process as it has helped us strengthen our relationships with consumers and become a trusted option for those with gluten intolerances or sensitivities – all without sacrificing taste.”
Going into its next 10 years, GFCO shows no signs of slowing down. “We have always aligned ourselves with those companies, such as Enjoy Life, who have stellar reputations and similar values as ours,” says Channon Quinn, Vice President of Food Services for GIG and head of GFCO since 2008. ” As a result of doing so, we now certify more than 90% of the gluten-free products that are under a third-party gluten-free certification in the United States and Canada. Our success at home has been recognized internationally and GFCO is quickly becoming the sought-after program for overseas’ manufacturers. We’re not stopping now.”