Producers of gluten-free foods have teamed up to establish a new industry association that will ensure companies meet high standards and consumers have confidence in free-from products.
Gluten Free Industry Association (GFIA) founder members include Bells of Lazonby, BFree Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Dr Schar, Genius Foods, Mrs Crimbles, Nairns Oatcakes, Northumbrian Fine Foods, and Warburtons. The GFIA is a full member of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
The association said its priorities for 2017 would include the development of best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology in order to deliver the highest quality of products to consumers.
The UK market for gluten-free products has grown rapidly, with annual free-from sales currently worth £585.6m, a 26.7% increase on the previous year. Within the free from market, the gluten-free market accounts for nearly 60% of this category a rise of 36% during 2015, according to Mintel’s September 2016 report.
Simon Wright, founder of OF+ Consulting and GFIA chair, said: “We are very pleased to be launching the Gluten Free Industry Association. The GFIA provides a single point of contact for this fast-changing sector whilst encouraging the major suppliers to come together and share best practice to deliver the high quality their consumers expect.”
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: “As the national charity for people with coeliac disease, it’s great to see this latest step in the maturation of the gluten free sector. A new association devoted to gluten free manufacturing will help the industry work together to tackle consistency and safety for the benefit of consumers and keep growing this vibrant new market. We look forward to working with the GFIA to ensure the needs of people with coeliac disease continue to be met.”