FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Channon Quinn, GFCO Director of Industry Programs
Mabell Rivas, PCO Inspection Program Director
New Partnership Eases Organic and Gluten-Free Inspection Process
Gluten-Free Certification Organization and Pennsylvania Certified Organic streamline testing
(Auburn, Washington, September 11, 2012) – Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) have collaborated to offer a dual-inspection process for food manufacturers and food companies who process and sell both gluten-free and organic products.
Each organization already has separate certification procedures in place. GFCO, a program under the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, tests gluten‐free products for quality and purity. Certified products displaying its GF logo meet strict gluten‐free standards to ensure the safety and health of gluten‐intolerant individuals.
PCO, a USDA-accredited organic certification organization, assesses companies producing, processing or handling organic agricultural products and determines whether the operation adheres to a prescribed system of organic agriculture and food production standards – natural soil enhancement, humane treatment of animals, avoidance of toxic synthetic substances and protection of the environment.
Under this new partnership both organizations will coordinate the scheduling of a simultaneous audit for organic and gluten-free certifications. It will help companies save time and money by streamlining the inspection process and having one combined audit for gluten-free and organic products. This reduces the amount of audit fees and traveling expenses paid by the company.
“Many companies that have a gluten-free line also produce and sell organic products. GIG’s partnership with PCO will allow us both to provide an added service for our certified clients and simplify the gluten-free and organic inspection process,” said Cynthia Kupper, GIG’s executive director.
“We’re always looking for ways to save our members time and money and this new inspection process does both,” said Leslie Zuck, PCO’s executive director. “Scheduling a simultaneous audit with GFCO allows a company to potentially have two certifications in the time it typically takes to receive one.”
Shiloh Farms, of New Holland, PA, specializes in all-natural foods with a product line that features grains, flours, pretzels, dried fruits and nuts among other products.
Already certified as kosher and organic, Shiloh Farms wanted to expand its market by gaining gluten-free and additional organic certifications and it was one of the first to try the new GFCO-PCO program.
“This simple process will lower our costs because of GFCO’s and PCO’s combined process and audits – one inspection versus two separate inspections saves time and money,” said Shiloh Farms Product Manager Robert Seagrist. “In our industry, both certifications are highly respected, so it will be convenient for the two organizations to work as one in coordinating our dual inspection.”
Information for the new dual inspection is available at www.gfco.org and www.paorganic.org. Additional information will be available at the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore, Sept. 20-22. PCO will be at booth #8722 and Shiloh Farms will be at booth #222.
About Gluten Free Certification Organization
Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is the first gluten-free certification program in the world that has deemed more than 10,500 certified products with 352 companies in 15 countries safe for persons with gluten-free sensitivity to consume. Its GF logo signifies the independent verification of product quality, integrity and purity. Please visit www.gfco.org for additional information. GFCO is a program under the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. Founded in 1974, GIG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Auburn, Wash. Additional information about GIG and its programs offered on international, national and local levels, are available at www.gluten.net. Download GFCO’s informational brochure here Gluten-Free Certification (312).
About Pennsylvania Certified Organic
Pennsylvania Certified Organic is a non‐profit organization that educates and certifies organic growers and handlers, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic region. PCO certifies more than 700 farming and food production operations, including produce, field crops, herbs, wild crops, dairy products, poultry products, value-added products, livestock, mushrooms, maple, snack foods, coffee, tea, cosmetics, and more. PCO is accredited by the USDA under the National Organic Program and ISO Guide 65. Organic products certified by PCO may be labeled and sold as organic in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and other countries that recognize USDA organic certification. To learn more about PCO or to apply for organic certification, call 814-422-0251 or visit our website at www.paorganic.org.