In response to the growing interest in gluten-free foods, ANAB has introduced accreditation for certification bodies providing audits and certification of management systems meeting the requirements of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).
The GFCP is owned and administered by the Allergen Control Group (ACG) and endorsed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (Beyond Celiac) in the United States and the Canadian Celiac Association.
The program is intended for organizations wanting verification that their preventative systems work and whose customers require an independent assessment of their commitment to implementing responsible practices related to managing gluten for people with gluten-related disorders such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
ANAB accreditation for the GFCP is based on ISO/IEC 17021-1, the international standard that specifies requirements which management systems certification bodies must conform.
“By offering accreditation for the Gluten-Free Certification Program, ANAB provides oversight of certification bodies independent from the owner of the program requirements, in this case the Allergen Control Group,” ANAB Vice President of Management Systems Lori Gillespie said. “This enhances the credibility of the certification program and effectively contributes to the health and welfare of consumers who have a medical need for reliable gluten-free foods.”
Manufacturers certified to the GFCP through self-declaration are able to display the GFCP trademark on their products. The trademark indicates that a product was manufactured in a facility that has successfully completed an annual independent third-party audit to verify its ability to meet GFCP requirements for managing the production of gluten-free products.
Consumers can rely on the GFCP trademark at the point of purchase to identify gluten free products which are safe and reliable.
Allergen Control Group President & CEO Paul Valder said, “ACG chose to pursue ANAB for its accreditation program to provide additional oversight for the delivery of our GFCP requirements, thus holding our certifying bodies accountable to ISO/IEC 17021-1 management system operating standards.
“Recognition by ANAB sets the GFCP apart from all other gluten-free certification processes, and separates ACG’s role as the standard owner from the accreditation process, further providing impartiality, credibility, and value to the GFCP end user.”
Certification bodies can apply for ANAB accreditation but will need to continue to have their food auditors trained, screened, and approved by ACG.