The burgeoning free-from sector has a new dedicated trade body.
The Gluten Free Industry Association (GFIA) has been formed to support companies involved in the manufacture and trade of gluten free products.
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 year2. Sales are projected to reach £673 million by 20203. Within the free from market, the gluten free market accounts for nearly 60% of the category and increased by 36% over 2015.
Against this backdrop of growth and opportunity, leading producers of gluten free foods have come together under the GFIA to ensure consistent high standards and to provide additional consumer confidence. GFIA priorities for 2017 will include the development of best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology in order to deliver the highest quality of products to their consumers.
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 new association is a full member Association of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and FDF will provide the secretariat for the Association.
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.”
Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, Director, FreeFrom Awards, said: “We are very pleased that gluten free manufacturers are coming together in an attempt to improve consistency and confidence in the manufacture of gluten free foods and especially in the supply chain. This can only be good for the industry and, in the long run, of significant benefit to the gluten free consumer.”