As BRC Global Standards company, Allergen Control Group (ACG), owners of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), have announced on December 13 the formation of two food-industry stakeholder working groups to support the development and launch of the first internationally recognized and voluntary Plant-Based Certification Program (PBCP).

A limited number of seats are still available for participation from key brand owners, grocery retailers, and manufacturers. The first face-to-face sessions will be hosted in both North America and Europe, towards the end of February 2019.

With the ever-changing regulatory landscape, and increased consumer demands, brands and manufacturers are even more challenged when making sound and trustworthy specialty-food product claims. “Although there appear to be little or no current regulations around these claims, our PBCP will be designed to enable consumers to make safe and informed choices, while also meeting the current and future practical needs of our industry," stated Paul Valder, president and CEO at Allergen Control Group.

“The key message for the customer related to our PBCP is to communicate that making a plant-based consumer claim is all about food and diet, where vegan claims are strictly a lifestyle. Consumers today want to incorporate plant-based foods into their diet, but do not consider themselves vegan," explained Katie Daniels, technical program manager at ACG.

"Retailers, brands and manufacturers around the globe can now gain operational and financial efficiencies, by combining their existing annual third-party food safety audit, together with both our gluten-free and plant-based certification programs”.

ACG said that as more and more consumers are incorporating plant-based foods into their diets, they are also increasingly discerning when faced with endless product options. When implemented and verified at the manufacturing stage, the PBCP will then be the trusted “on-pack” trademark/symbol to attract customers, differentiate products, build trusted brand loyalty and protect the brand reputation, associated with making such a claim.

The Allergen Control Group Inc., (ACG) was founded in August 2011 as a private Canadian corporation, operating from Toronto, Canada. ACG currently owns and operates the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), which it acquired in 2018. ACG is North America’s leading subject matter expert in the field of gluten-free and allergen food-safety compliance and marketing.

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