SGS and AOECS Launch a New Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program

By: SGS on 23 November 2021

SGS, a long-standing approved Certification Body and trusted partner, has worked with the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) to develop a new Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program that can be delivered alongside any GFSI Benchmarked Food Safety Standard.

This program is of particular benefit to food business operators aiming to access the market for pre-packaged gluten-free foods.


What is the Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program?

The AOECS Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program covers all requirements and expectations within the current AOECS Standard when delivered in combination with a GFSI Benchmarked Food Safety Standard (GFSI Benchmarking Requirements Version 2020). These include BRCGS, IFS, FSSC 22000 and SQF.

Jeff McDonald, EVP at SGS, says: “The AOECS Standard, with its trusted Crossed Grain symbol, is an internationally recognized gluten-free certification scheme. This new flexible option of having an audit that combines the AOECS Gluten-Free Addendum with any of the GFSI Benchmarked Food Safety Standards offers new opportunities to maximize efficiencies, whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication and costs. We are pleased that SGS has become the first globally approved independent Certification Body for the provision of the program.”

Veronica Rubio, AOECS Secretary General says: “Audit fatigue is one of the major burdens food business operators face today. We are confident that this new AOECS Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program will help companies optimize resources and become license holders of our Crossed Grain Symbol, so that more people with gluten-related conditions can pursue healthy diets with safe and well-controlled gluten-free prepackaged food products.”


How does the program benefit customers?

The Gluten-Free Addendum Audit Program offers customers four primary benefits:

  • Reduces time spent on site, thereby minimizing operational disturbance
  • Saves time and costs
  • Ensures that all audits against AOECS Standard are delivered by skilled, qualified auditors
  • Allows companies with sites certified to different GFSI Standards to use a single gluten-free addendum program across the board, improving operational efficiency

About SGS

SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 93,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

About AOECS

AOECS is an independent, non-profit umbrella organization representing 37 European national coeliac societies. Its Crossed Grain trademark, which is licensed to companies meeting the requirements of the AOECS Standard for gluten-free foods, signifies safety for consumers. It is promoted by coeliac organizations worldwide and is recognized internationally.



For further information contact:

Dr. Evangelia Komitopoulou
SGS Food Customized Solutions and CSR, Global Manager
Global Food Assurance
food@sgs.com