Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP)

Celiac Canada works to ensure safe, gluten-free food is affordable and accessible.

Look for the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) logo on food products and know they meet strict standards.

The Gluten-Free Certification Program, a food safety-based gluten management system for manufacturers, was created by Celiac Canada and the Allergen Control Group. It is lisenced to Beyond Celiac in the US, making it the first and only North American program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in both the US and Canada.

GFCP is a management system and facility-based certification. This means that the program does not rely solely on product testing to ensure safety, but examines the entire practices and production process of the facility – from ingredient sourcing to employee training, cleaning practices, cross-contact controls, operational management and finally, an effective end-to-end testing plan.

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The GFCP program is certified by the BRCGS Global Standard organisation, the biggest certification organisation in the world. Celiac Canada was instrumental in creating the program. Learn all about the new Standard #4 protocols. 

What is the Gluten-Free Certification Program?

The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) let’s you differentiate safe products from the increasing clutter of gluten-free claims in today’s marketplace.  Celiac Canada’s GFCP mark in association with BRCGS, the world’s largest, most trusted certification program means you can shop with confidence knowing everything has been done to ensure products are free-from gluten.  

The GFCP differs from other certification programs and is based on Canadian regulatory system Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). This approach is preventative. Protocols address all potential hazards all the way along the manufacturing process, from supply to production to packaging as part of a manufacturer’s overall safety and quality management system to prevent gluten contamination. Final product testing for less than 20 ppm of gluten, means GFCP certification assures you products carrying the mark are both safe and gluten-free.

Another key differentiator of the GFCP is that it does not allow the intentional addition of gluten, in any concentration, in products bearing the CCA trademark. This restriction also applies to ingredients which have been processed to remove gluten. This means that celiac and non-celiac, gluten-sensitive consumers can purchase these products with confidence.

A manufacturing facility which achieves certification to the GFCP has exclusive rights to use the Celiac Canada’s trademark on product packaging and on marketing/advertising materials. So look out for the trademark on anything you buy. 

BRCGS is the company that currently owns the program and Celiac Canada owns the GFCP trademark. The program follows gluten levels set by Health Canada. BRCGS works with food manufacturers to certify all GFCP products.

Click here to learn about Health Canada’s Position on Gluten-Free Claims.

A Canadian Celiac Podcast chats with BRCGS.

Mar 22, 2023 – Sue Jennett, A Canadian Celiac Podcast

“When I was at the 50th Anniversary kickoff for Celiac Canada I spoke with the Technical Manager for the Gluten Free Certification with BRCGS. His name is Barry Meikle and I had so many questions. On Episode 176, I spoke with John Murthy from BRCGS in London, so it was appropriate to now speak with Barry to get the Canadian/North American take on Gluten Free Certification. We talk about how the program works and what assurances you can get from purchasing products with the CCA Gluten Free symbol.”

Jun 9, 2021 – Sue Jennett, A Canadian Celiac Podcast

On this episode I speak with Jon Murthy, Head of Global Marketing for BRCGS.  This is the organization that certifies foods for the CCA gluten free logo, as part of their many certification programs.  Originally, this operation was performed by a relatively small, but knowledgeable group in Canada, but moving this important function to a multi-national, multi-discipline certification body, brings an entirely new perspective to gluten free food safety.  Jon discusses the process a company must go through to achieve certification, as well as the complexities of companies producing and exporting ingredients and prepared foods to maintain their certification status.  This global perspective is a complicated concept, but BRCGS certainly seems up to the international challenge.

Are you a food manufacturer wanting certification?

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