Grower Insights

Click below on each question to review industry insights for each of these questions from industry representatives including Gluten Free certifiers, farmers, processors and Gluten Free processors. For a printer friendly version click here.

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Seaton Smith
President
GFO Inc. / GF Harvest, LLC/ Gluten Free Oats, LLC / Canyon Oats
578 Lane 9
Powell WY 82435
Phone 888-941-9922 / 307-754-7041
sales@gfharvest.com 

We are proud to bring you our GF Harvest products. Our goal is that all families can find gluten free products they can trust. We personally know the severe reaction one can have if cross-contaminated with compromised products. Three generations of our family have celiac disease and are on a GF diet since 1990. Our son Forrest, who was diagnosed at age two, became determined as a teenager to develop a safe source of uncontaminated oats. His desire led to an FFA entrepreneur project which became Gluten Free Oats, LLC. That has grown into GF Harvest allowing us to serve you with other products. We value your support and are proud to serve you with GF Harvest.
 
Our product line has grown from one SKU to over 25 that can be seen at www.gfharvest.com. We have also expanded into the ready to eat market with granola and oatmeal cups under the Canyon Oats brand name at www.canyonoats.com Please feel free to contact us for a possible rotation crop of gluten free oats or if we can be of any help on gluten free diet questions.
 
Thank you for your interest in helping all of us on a gluten free diet to have more food options.
 
Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
 
Pappardelle’s has been producing craft artisan pastas in Denver, Colorado since 1984. We stringently adhere to “old-world” pasta making techniques while also adding the ‘newer world’ infusion of palate pleasing flavors with the use of high-quality, delicious herbs, spices, and vegetables. Our mission simply put is “the relentless pursuit of perfect pasta” for the ultimate customer experience. We are a processor that uses gluten-free milled grains.
 
Ted Craig, Wyoming Department of Agriculture
 
As the production coordinator and grants manager for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture my role is advance our mission which is “the promotion and enhancement of Wyoming's agriculture, natural resources and contribution to Wyoming quality of life.” Gluten free production is just one of the many areas that we are supportive of through our partnership with the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council as well as various other state and federal agencies. 
 
Contact Information
Ted Craig
Wyoming Department of Agriculture
307-777-6651
 
Marvin Goertz, Canyon Bakehouse
 
Canyon Bakehouse is a dedicated gluten-free bakery located in Loveland, Colorado.  We recognize the need for great-tasting, gluten-free products that combine great flavor with soft texture and healthy ingredients.
 
Canyon Bakehouse opened for business in November 2009, making gluten free bread for the Rocky Mountain Region of Whole Foods.  We have experienced fast growth as the word has spread about our delicious and nutritious breads.  We are now available across the country in over 1,000 stores.
 
Our mission at Canyon Bakehouse is to create Delicious and Nutritious Gluten-Free Breads that the Whole Family will enjoy.  Our unique varieties have been specifically created to bring the distinctive flavor and texture of "regular" bread to those adhering to a gluten free diet. 
 
Contact:
Marvin Goertz
Technical Manager
Canyon Bakehouse
1510 E. 11th Street
Loveland, CO 80537
970-461-3844

 
Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
We grow, process and package the grains raised on our family farm. We also buy from qualified neighbors, who follow a set of protocol needed to help grow and harvest qualified gluten free products.
 
Jean Hediger - President
Golden Prairie Inc.
Certified Organic Grains
P.O. Box 2
Nunn, CO 80648
970-897-2505
www.goldenprairie.com
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Seaton Smith
The Grower must be a certified seed grower to be of the right mind set to produce a GF seed crop.  Depending on the distance from the buyer they will need to be able to provide some or all of the following information / service.

  • Planting seed stock purification independent testing.  99% pure is not pure enough. 
  • Planters that can be cleaned, inspected and documented that this process was done.
  • Independent field history documents showing that there were not gluten grains grown in the field for the last 2-3 years. 
  • Independent history documents showing the crop and chemical history for all adjoining fields for last year and also the growing year.
  • Maps showing field location and separation distances between adjoining fields.
  • Walk / inspect each field after it heads out for any volunteer plants that might of started from and old seed being turned up while working the field, birds, wind from last year’s harvest on the adjoin fields or animal traffic through the field.  
  • Independent certification that all:
    • Harvest equipment is free of any gluten grains
    • Transportation equipment was free of any gluten grains
    • Grain storage bins were  free of any gluten grains
  • Able to pre clean the grain to remove any small grass seeds that might activate a positive gluten test with Rida Quick test.
  • Able to pull at least 3 samples from each truck or hopper. Blend the sample, do a seed count on 100g and if no gluten grains are found then run a Rida Quick Gluten test on it showing that it is under 10 ppm
  • Be able to deliver the grain to the buyer and be prepared to sell the product as feed grain if a positive test comes up or take it back to the farm.  

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
I do not know how ingredients are tested for certification at the farmer level. GFCO? QAI Gluten-Free?

Ted Craig
There is no third party certification at the grower level. Any protocols for growers are coming from the processors who have the access to third party certification. 

Marvin Goertz
Most of our ingredients are tested by the processor and certified by a gluten free certification body like the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO), the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), or the National Foundation for Celia Awareness (NFCA).  Since we don’t typically have contact with the farmer directly, we are less sure of how the products are tested and ensured between the farmer and ingredient processor, but you could reach out to typical GF processors (like ConAgra for example) or the certification bodies listed above for more information.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
We raise gluten free grains on clean fields beginning with certified seeds. We probe trucks 4 times when getting ready to ship and do a quick Elisa 5 test before leaving the farmyard.

 

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Seaton Smith
There are options for “seeds men” that have the mentality to produce a pure seed crop and not just grow something.

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
I do not know what options are available for producing millet and other grains for the GF marketplace. We currently do not use Millet in our GF products.

Ted Craig
The gluten free growers should have as strict oversight as organic or certified seed growers. A gluten free certification program must have the similar protocols to ensure that what they are selling is indeed free of gluten contamination.

Marvin Goertz
We expect the farmer to produce a high quality ingredient, free from contaminants and that they maintain the product’s integrity throughout their supply chain. This means not giving an opportunity for the product to be contaminated with gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye and barley (and related grains like triticale) through harvest, storage, and transportation.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
Mostly that they are knowledgeable about what it takes to raise gluten free grains.

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Seaton Smith
There is no farmer certification process now. There is an organization called GFCO that does manufacturing, restaurants hospitals and institutions that they can contact for training this process.  They are a subsidiary of the Gluten Intolerance Group and can be reached at 253-833-6655

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
I do not know if Farmers can be certified as GF ingredient suppliers. Perhaps try GFCO or QAI Gluten-Free?

Ted Craig
Not at this time. There are several organizations that will certify manufacturers and restaurants but none that certify the grower.

Marvin Goertz
This may be possible, but would need to be done through the GFCO, CSA, NFCA or similar certification body. I am not sure what advantage this would confer to the farmer, and testing would still likely be necessary to confirm.  Such certification may limit the farmer to growing only gluten free grains or segregating equipment and storage bins.

 

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Seaton Smith

To assure the grain to be certified as GF it is a process that must start at planting but the final results are upon delivery to the buyer. 
 
Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
The products we source are usually tested at the milling level and then are again tested by us internally or independently.
 
Marvin Goertz
Typically testing is by the ingredient supplier.  We also test our incoming ingredients and finished product to confirm that it meets our standard.
 
Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
We begin testing at harvest, then test before shipping. The product is also test again in the truck before being off loaded at the processing plant, and finally the processed product is tested before shipping.

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Seaton Smith
I work with local growers that I personally know and can be on site during the whole growing season.

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
We work with distributors or directly with the mill/processor. In either case, we require a GF statement and CoA certifying/testing the batch.

Marvin Goertz
We carefully select reputable ingredient suppliers.  We have rejected suppliers who are not able to certify their ingredients or whose ingredients test outside of our required ranges.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
We grow our own products.

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Seaton Smith
We only do gluten free and some of it is also certified organic

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
GFCO, QAI, Organic, Non-GMO

Marvin Goertz
We require that our ingredients are certified by a reputable gluten free certification body, like one of the three above.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
We are using GFCO as our certifier.

 

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Seaton Smith
We will only deal with growers that have the mentality of wanting to grow a seed crop or the risk of cross contamination of our plant is too high. 

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
GF Statement, Certification Copies, CoA for batch, Non-GMO

Marvin Goertz
You should probably focus on the processor and their requirements to get the most useful, directly applicable information for farmers.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
A full understanding of what it takes to correctly raise gluten free grains. Some testing prior to shipping to the processing plant.

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Seaton Smith
I see that the ability to store on site or in certified off site grower bins up to 2 years of product.  The hard part to guess is what is 2 years of stock in such a growing market.  

Jesse Stubbs, Director of Marketing, Pappardelle’s Pasta
The main challenges we are facing are supply as well as cost. It is incredibly challenging to find reliable, economic sources for certain GF ingredients. We are hopeful that supply/demand will increase and thus help to bring costs down, allowing us to offer more economical products to consumers.

Ted Craig
The challenge I see for the industry is to become proactive in developing a grower certification program. There have been rumors that Canada is planning on a grower certification program but I have not been able to verify this. If they indeed do this it would give Canadian growers an advantage in the market. 

Marvin Goertz
One challenge for the gluten free industry will be to continue to maintain very high standards for our consumers. Oats are an example of an ingredient that is gluten free but has a dubious reputation in the gluten free world.  This is because it shares a common supply chain with wheat and is difficult to separate once they are combined.  It is critical that our products are always seen as “safe” for the consumer.

Jean Hediger, Golden Prairie
Continuing to keep our fields clean from drift. Accurate testing on the grains prior to shipping. Accurate testing at the point of delivery, and finally an industry understanding of what gluten free really means.