Global Standard Gluten-Free Issue 4 now published!

BRCGS is delighted to announce that the new Issue 4 of the BRCGS Global Standard Gluten-Free has been published and is available for download from the BRCGS Store or Participate. The result of a detailed and inclusive revision process, Issue 4 presents a strengthened and robust standard that will deliver greater assurance and value to all stakeholders.

First published in 2011, the BRCGS Global Standard Gluten-Free has seen a year-on-year increase in the recognition of the Standard. With significant growth in the UK and Europe over this time, the Standard is globally applicable and now has certificated sites in 35 countries across the world.

The rigour of BRCGS Gluten-free certification has won the endorsement of a broad network of national and regional associations in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This allows certificated sites to use the on-pack association trademarks with the highest consumer recognition in their market, such as the Beyond Celiac trademark in the USA, the Celiac Canada trademark in Canada, and the Acelmex gluten-free trademark in Mexico and Latin America.

BRCGS has forged a strategic partnership with the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS). Together, they have benchmarked against the AOECS Standard and innovatively developed an additional Section 8 to the BRCGS Gluten-Free Standard. This collaborative effort empowers certified sites and brands that source from them to display the AOECS’s Crossed Grain symbol on their packaging. This symbol is the most recognized gluten-free emblem across Europe and its neighbouring economies, signifying adherence to stringent gluten-free standards.

Tunde Koltai, chairperson of the AOECS said, “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with BRCGS in the development of the new Section 8 within Issue 4, including additional AOECS requirements for those sites aiming to market their products in Europe. This collaboration enables them to become licensees to use of the respected Crossed Grain trademark. The integration of additional AOECS requirements into the BRCGS Standard streamlines the audit process for manufacturers and reduces audit fatigue. AOECS is dedicated to continue working with BRCGS, to deliver the best possible outcomes, and boost more safe gluten-free foods in the market for people with coeliac conditions for whom gluten-free food is currently the only treatment” 

Given that 91% of consumers declare that their buying decisions are impacted by third party verification, and 76% prefer products certified by a recognised coeliac association, this collaboration will support the creation of more gluten-free safe products in the global market.

Other key changes in Issue 4 include the addition of non-conformity grading, a new section on labelling and pack control, and an extension of scope to include outsourced processing. Other changes can also be expected which are designed to simplify the process and provide clarity.

To allow certificated sites time to transition, Issue 4 audits will commence in August 2024. To help sites with the transition, supporting publications and guidance will be published in due course, and Issue 4 training courses are anticipated to be available in Spring 2024.

 > Find out more about Issue 4