What is the Canadian Celiac Association Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) mark?
The Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP) is the only Canadian voluntary certification program designed for manufacturers of gluten-free food, drug and pharmaceutical products that are intended to be differentiated from the increasing clutter of gluten-free claims in today’s marketplace by using the Trusted Mark of the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA).
The GFCP has been designed to differentiate itself from other certification programs with a foundation based upon proven Canadian regulatory and private sector Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point HACCP) systems. This approach is preventative in nature and addresses all potential hazards including gluten, as part of a manufacturers overall safety and quality management system. When combining this approach with analytical testing procedures for incoming ingredients, as well as in-process and finished products the GFCP provides added assurance that the products carrying the mark are both safe and gluten free.
Another key differentiator of the GFCP is that it requires the use of qualified, trained and approved independent third party auditors (not inspectors) to verify that manufacturers meet the program’s requirements on an annual basis. This third party relationship is essential to eliminate any potential conflict of interest in the certification process.
A manufacturing facility which undergoes a successful third party audit process will be recommended to the Canadian Celiac association for certification to be eligible to use the GFCP mark on product packaging and in marketing/advertising materials.
Are there regulations that apply to products carrying a gluten-free claim?
Yes. Health Canada and the FDA have designed specific regulations to govern the use of the term gluten-free. This declaration relegates the food into a special category of “food for special dietary use”. This means that the food has been specially processed or formulated to meet the particular requirements of a person. For more information about the Canadian regulation for making gluten-free claims click here. For the American regulations for making gluten-free claims click hereFDA's Regulation of “Gluten-Free” Claims - Food and Drug .
Is there an accepted gluten threshold associated with a making a gluten-free claim?
In Canada and the United States, products displaying a gluten-free claim may contain levels of gluten not exceeding 20 ppm due to cross-contamination. If there is intentional addition of gluten in the product formulation a gluten-free claim cannot be made. Companies that have a policy to manufacture gluten-free products to a specific threshold of less than 20 ppm (i.e. 10ppm or 5ppm) will be expected to meet this threshold and audited to against their internal policy requirement.
What does the GFCP mark mean?
As the most trusted Canadian resource for consumers seeking gluten-free products, the Canadian Celiac Association’s vision for the GFCP mark is that it will provide consumers with safe, trusted and easily identifiable gluten-free products at point of purchase. The GFCP mark on product packaging provides consumers with an added level of assurance that those products are manufactured in a facility which successfully passes routine third-party audits to verify that their gluten-free management system consistently meets the requirements of the Gluten-Free Certification Program.
Is analytical product testing required as part of the GFCP?
Yes, however the GFCP does not prescribe analytical testing policies and procedures. Routine testing protocols should be developed and conducted by the facility based on the risk of gluten contamination, and integrated from the receiving of raw materials to end product.
What is a recognized facility under GFCP?
A “recognized facility” is a manufacturing facility producing gluten-free products that has been audited by an approved third-party auditor and has met all of the requirements of the Canadian Celiac Association's Gluten-Free Certification Program.
Are Sweetseeds products made in a dedicated gluten-free facility?
Yes, Sweetseeds products are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility.