Gluten-Free Certification Organization
31214 124th Ave. SE, Auburn, WA 98092, www.gfco.org
Established in 2005, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) provides third-party certification for gluten-free products. A program of the Gluten Intolerance Group, GFCO is the oldest and largest third-party certifier in North America, certifying in excess of 20,000 products from over 700 companies, across 900 separate facilities spanning more than 24 countries. According to 2013 SPINS data, GFCO certifies 17.6% of the gluten-free products in the U.S. market.
GFCO utilizes independent third-party inspectors, the majority of which have at least three years of experience with industry inspection programs including organic, Kosher or non-GMO certification programs. Throughout the rigorous inspection process, GFCO strives for honesty and transparency with companies, with no hidden fees. In order to ensure legitimacy and safety in certified products, all finished products and raw materials are required to test to a level 10 parts per million (PPM) or below, lower than the federal regulations of 19 PPM or lower. Auditors also evaluate the production process from beginning to end.
In addition to certification, GFCO also is devoted to building promotional relationships with certified companies to provide marketing opportunities and encourage growth. Some of these options include cross-promotion by the Gluten Intolerance Group at trade shows and in publications, food service and consumer recommendations and an up-to-date database of all certified companies for inquiries.
The goal of GFCO is to put consumer needs first while understanding the challenges facing producers. By interacting with both sides, they help to provide the best feedback to promote effective, efficient and safe gluten-free production for multiple facility types.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2014