Quarter 2 - 2020

In this issue
  • GFCO COVID-19 Statement
  • 2020 Proficiency Testing Round
  • GFCO Standard Update
  • Plant Registration & Manufacturer Listing
  • Public Product List
  • GFCO Contact Information
As a service provider to the food and agriculture industries, GFCO is continuing to operate and perform its essential public safety audits. GFCO will be following the CDC’s guidelines for restricted travel related to Covid-19, and we are supporting the decisions of the auditors, certification bodies and plants to postpone audits if there are concerns about the coronavirus. GIG has policies in place for extreme circumstances such as these, and we have made our certification bodies aware of those options. Please contact your certification body if you have concerns about an upcoming scheduled audit.

For new certification applicants, we ask for your patience as this situation unfolds, particularly if your facility is located in an area where the CDC has determined that there is widespread ongoing coronavirus transmission.
 
 
2020 GFCO Proficiency Testing Round

Sign-ups for the 2020 GFCO Proficiency Testing round began April 1st at www.gluten.org/proficiency-registration . This year we have changed the schedule for proficiency testing in order to provide our companies with more opportunity to participate.
 
  • Sign-ups for proficiency testing will be available this year between April 1st and November 30th.
  • Samples will be shipped as payment is received. Samples will be shipped within 5 business days after your payment is processed.
  • Results may be submitted as soon as you have completed testing—see the instructions that come with your samples for the result submission website.
  • Preliminary reports will be issued within 2 weeks of result submission.
  • The final date for all result submission will be December 31, 2020. No results for the 2020 round will be accepted after that date.
  • A final report will be issued in January 2021.

 

GFCO Standard Update  
 
The GFCO Certification Standard is currently posted for review and comment at www.gfco.org/standard-update . The version that is posted has several proposed changes to the Standard, but we are accepting comments on the entire Standard. Any interested stakeholder may submit comments, including certification clients, auditors, and certification bodies.

The comment period ends on April 30.

GFCO will review the comments and make and final revisions to the Standard during the month of May.

The final revised version of the Standard will be posted on June 1, 2020 with a complete summary of the changes. Clients will have 6 months to adapt their Gluten Program to the Standard changes.

GFCO auditors will start auditing to the revised Standard on December 1, 2020.

REMINDER  

Testing Submissions for the first quarter of 2020 are due on April 10th. Please make sure to submit your data to testing@gluten.org.

Plant Registration & Manufacturer Listing
During 2019, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) developed partnerships with other ISO 17065 accredited certification bodies, to give manufacturers more options for certification to the GFCO Standard. These partnerships have expanded the global reach, recognition and value of GFCO certification, which is already the leader in its field.

As mentioned in a previous edition of this newsletter, the addition of certification bodies necessitates that GIG maintain a centralized record of all plants that have been approved to manufacture GFCO-certified products. Therefore, GIG’s GFCO Program is requiring an annual registration of all manufacturing facilities involved in the production of certified Products. New applicants have already been registering their plants, but we are now requesting that current facilities register to maintain their status as approved manufacturing facilities. This registration will require a nominal fee for processing of $100 per facility, but will benefit manufacturers by introducing a publicly-available database of manufacturing plants, including information for those who wish to be listed as being available for private-label or contract manufacturing of GFCO certified products (under appropriate licensing agreements).

Beginning in early April 2020, and throughout the next year, the primary contacts of each manufacturing facility will be receiving an email directing them to go online and register their plant. These notices will be broken up over the next 12 months, and for those plants holding their own certification contract, we will attempt to align the registration notice with your certification renewal date, to allow you to make one payment. This means that some of you may not receive a request to register until the first quarter of 2021.

If you are interested in registering your plant sooner, to allow it to appear on our upcoming database of approved manufacturing facilities, you may register any time at www.gfco.org/plant-registration . Plant registration will need to be renewed annually to keep your plant in good standing and allow you to manufacture certified products that appear on current GFCO certificates. 

Public Product List

Thank you to all GFCO certification clients who responded to our request to approve the display of their products on our online product list!

The list is now available online at https://gfco.org/product-directory/ , and it currently contains more than 20,000 of GFCO’s 60,000 certified products. If you don’t see your products on the list, and would like to, please contact your certification body and let them know.

This list will be the primary way for consumers to confirm the certification status of products, and it allows consumers and manufacturers to search for certified gluten-free retail or industrial products.

Please visit the list when you have a chance, and make sure that your products are listed in a way that makes it easy for consumer to find them. You can change the way that your products are shown on the list by updating your Product & Ingredient list with your certification body.
 


Certification Updates
Among the other notices in this quarter’s newsletter, you will notice that we are also displaying the new GFCO certification mark.
 
This global mark is replacing the existing circle-GF certification mark. New logo files and a new Branding Standard are available from your certification body.
 
All companies are required to change all of their representations of GFCO certification, on packaging and marketing materials, by March 31, 2022.
 
We acknowledge that this is a big change. For us, and for you, and we look forward to working with you on implementing a packaging change. Additionally, we know that the gluten-free community has come to know and trust the existing mark and that an education campaign is necessary. 

Trust that GIG has a robust communications effort planned for the gluten-free community. We encourage those who would like to receive regular marketing updates from GIG, to please sign up here to receive news, information, and opportunities to be included in our communication plans. 
 
Let Us Help You!
With bare shelves and lockdowns across the country, the gluten-free community wants to know how they can get your products to their doorsteps. Be included on our listing which is being shared on our website, social media, and through our local support groups.
 
Send us the details at gig.marketing@gluten.org .
A direct and compelling headline

GFCO CONTACTS
Regulatory Manager
Laura Allred

GFCO Certification Body
Paul Vachris
 
Control Union Certification Body
Daniel Montes

SCS Certification Body
David Morales-Vela


 


Testing Submissions testing@gluten.org

Logo Submissions

Positive Results
 
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P: (253) 833-6655
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