The Canadian government has announced an investment of more than $500,000 for the Canadian Celiac Association to help increase awareness and enhance access to Canadian sources of gluten-free grains.
According to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, this investment is expected to enable the Canadian Celiac Association to develop a voluntary certification standard for gluten-free grains, which will include visual identification tools for grain millers, good management practices for oat producers and sampling and testing protocol for gluten-free certification on-farm and post-farm.
“We recognize there’s a growing need for high quality, affordable gluten-free products. This investment will help increase industry awareness, accessibility and selection of gluten-free grains for production, while creating new market opportunities for Canadian farmers and manufacturers,” says Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, who made the announcement.
This project is funded under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing – Assurance Systems stream, which provides support for national associations to develop assurance systems or standards.
“The outcomes of the project will build on work previously supported by AAFC and recommendations made by the CCA and industry partners to build improved standards, systems and tools for manufacturers to reliably deliver safe gluten-free foods,” says Sue Newell, Operations Manager, Canadian Celiac Association. “Sticking to a gluten-free diet, which is the only accepted treatment for celiac disease, can be challenging and costly because of limited food choices. Enhancing the availability of truly gluten-free food sources, particularly grain and cereal-type foods, will greatly assist people with diseases and conditions triggered by gluten. Suppliers and manufacturers of gluten-free food will also benefit from a larger and consistent supply of certified gluten-free grains.”