The Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) and the BRCGS have intensively worked together to put in place a combined Gluten-free certification programme under the widely recognised Crossed Grain symbol, licensed by AOECS. This collaboration opens up new opportunities for food companies that want to promote their gluten-free brands in all 37 European Territories covered by the AOECS.
This partnership applies to processed foods and ingredients used by food manufacturing companies.
AOECS is the umbrella organisation of European national coeliac societies. It represents people who are affected by coeliac diseases or dermatitis herpetiformis (DF) and collaborates with public and private sector to promote credible and reliable gluten-free food in the market.
BRCGS, a global leader in food safety for the last 25 years whose standards are accepted by 70% of the top 10 global brands, certificates 30,000 sites worldwide. Through a standardized set of global requirements, its certification programmes provide comprehensive management system verification to support food companies making gluten-free claims and safeguarding consumers.
The AOECS recognises BRCGS’s reputation as one of the market leaders in FMCG certification and provider of supply chain assurance solutions.
More than 7 million people are affected by coeliac disease across Europe, with only approximately 25% of those actually receiving a diagnosis. Coeliac disease can present with a wide range of mild to very severe symptoms with the only treatment being a strict daily gluten-free diet.
At the same time, the market for gluten-free products in Europe is forecast to grow by 9.3% CAGR between now and 2024 due to an increasing number of consumers who want to avoid allergies and sensitivities in their diet. 91% of consumers declare that their buying decision is impacted by 3rd party verification, along with 76% of consumers preferring certified products associated with a coeliac organization. This landscape confirms that AOECS and BRCGS’s partnership comes at the right time and perfectly matches consumers’ expectations.
AOECS and BRCGS mutually recognise the value of their respective systems and strongly believe in the power of this collaboration.
This partnership will help meet the demands of European consumers looking for safe and reliable products and will be part of the AOECS licensing programme for the Crossed Grain trademark.
John Tomlinson, BRCGS Sales, Marketing and Business Strategy Director stated: “We are delighted to work with the AOECS and its 37 European coeliac society members to promote the safe and clear identification of gluten-free food products in Europe. This recognition allows brand owners to connect with millions of consumers that are seeking a credible, trustworthy, endorsed gluten-free trademark at the point of purchase. It confirms BRCGS’s position as the leading global specialist in delivering industry and science-based ‘free-from’ programmes that enhance the quality of life for consumers.”
Veronica Rubio, the AOECS Secretary General said:
“We are very pleased to see all the opportunities and synergies that this partnership with BRCGS brings to consumers and gluten-free food manufactures in Europe.
Since early 2000s, AOECS works intensively to ensure that people, particularly those who don’t have the choice, can find affordable and reliable gluten-free foods in the market. Under the same AOECS “Crossed Grain” Trademark, this partnership will undoubtedly provide higher protection for coeliac patients and other consumers that decide to follow a gluten-free diet, in all territories were AOECS members are present”.