Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that does not apply to registered trademarks. As the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) becomes more popular, we start to see the logo, or key parts of it, being used on products that are not certified. For example: the logo on the left is the true GFCP trade mark. The logo on the right is one that recently appeared on a pack of rice treats. Notice the similarity? This designer made a minor change in the font and took out the dots. Some logos we have found just strip off the CCA’s name.
Whenever we find this, the CCA takes action to protect our registered mark. We start with a registered letter to the manufacturer or importer with a clear “cease and desist” letter. If we don’t get action, the issue escalates to a letter from our lawyer. The first couple of times we ran into this, the explanations were “I just asked my graphic designer to make up a mark”*, and as a result of our outreach on this issue, the companies both became part of the GFCP! We are waiting on a response from several more companies at the moment.
We need your help in spotting these problem products because CCA and GFCP staff members shop in only a small number of stores across Canada. If you see a potential misuse of the GFCP mark, please take a picture of the product that shows the mark and a second picture that shows the company contact information printed on the package. You don’t need to buy the product – you can take the picture right in the store, if you wish. Send the pictures to [email protected] and we will take it from there.
Thank you for your help keeping the program strong.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a non-profit organization serving individuals with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, has formed an alliance with the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), developed by Canadian Celiac Association (CCA), to launch the first gluten-free certification program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in North America.
“The GFCP alliance means consumers with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity will have more choices, greater assurance and an easier way to identify gluten-free products that are trusted and safe,” said Alice Bast, President of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. “The GFCP has already achieved great success in Canada, and we are eager to expand its benefits to our community here in the US.”
The GFCP will provide consumer guidance and protection by differentiating certified products from the increasing clutter of gluten-free claims in the marketplace. The GFCP requires annual certification audits conducted by independent ISO accredited auditing companies, which ensure that certified products meet the industry’s most stringent gluten-free food safety requirements in the US and Canada. This third party relationship is a critical and defining part of the GFCP, as it eliminates any conflict of interest between the manufacturer’s relationship with the program, its certifying bodies and/or the NFCA.
Gluten-free consumers can now shop with confidence by looking for the trusted NFCA certification trademark on product packages.
“We at the GFCP are very excited about our partnership with the NFCA. By combining the endorsement of the NFCA and their strong industry relationships, together with the technical strengths of our program, I am confident we will be able to deliver a comprehensive value proposition that is yet to be seen in the US marketplace,” said Paul Valder, President of the Gluten-Free Certification Program.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans. Eighty-three percent of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The disease can cause debilitating symptoms and, if left untreated, lead to life-threatening health conditions. There is no cure, but celiac disease can be treated with a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet.
NFCA advocates on behalf of the millions of Americans suffering from celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders who are frustrated by the uncertainty of identifying gluten-free products that are essential to their well-being.
“NFCA shares the CCA’s mission to protect consumers with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity and will lend a strong voice to the call for safety and accountability as demonstrated by GFCP standards,” said Peter Taylor, Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association. “We embrace their participation in this important cross-border commitment.”
Milton, ON CANADA (PRWEB) December 12, 2012
The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) and the Canadian Celiac Association are pleased to announce that Loblaw Companies Limited ((Loblaw)has become one of the growing number of GFCP certified companies and has recently introduced a line of President’s Choice® gluten-free bakery products in select Loblaw stores across the country. “By displaying the GFCP trademark, the President’s Choice® brand provides consumers with a trusted and easily identifiable source of gluten-free products,” said Ian Gordon, senior vice-president, Loblaw Brands, Loblaw Companies Limited.
The GFCP is the only certification program in Canada, which includes a food safety management system designed to fully meet the requirements of Canada’s stringent Food and Drug Regulations for “gluten-free” claims and was developed by the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) to certify companies, which produce and market gluten-free products.
With the launch of President’s Choice® brand gluten-free products, Loblaw joins Frito-Lay potato chips (PepsiCo Foods Canada), Solo-gi Nutrition and Cheecha brand snacks as the first market leaders in Canada to carry the GFCP trademark of the Canadian Celiac Association.
Paul Valder, president of the Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG), the corporation that manage the GFCP states; “We are extremely excited about the level of interest in the GFCP. Over 25 manufacturers and retailers, from both the food and pharmaceutical sectors representing approximately 200 products are currently in the GFCP pipeline.”
“The Canadian Celiac Association believes that all Canadians have the right to safe food, and we have developed the Gluten-Free Certification Program to meet these special needs” states Peter Taylor, Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association. “The CCA advocates on behalf of approximately 2,000,000 Canadians suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, who are frustrated by the uncertainty of identifying gluten-free products, but that are essential to their well-being.”