Avena Foods Limited was established in 2008 by a group of pedigreed seed growers committed to providing ‘pure’¹ oats, uncontaminated by gluten grains, for the benefit of people with celiac disease.
Fast forward ten years. Avena Foods has an extensive network of oat growers, some of whom are certified-organic, operating under what is termed ‘Purity Protocol’². Avena also boasts a state-of-the-art gluten-free, allergen-free milling facility with traceability, quality, and food safety systems second to none.
The pedigreed seed growers understood the value of a production process that maintains ‘true-to-type’ seed. This classification sets out stringent requirements for the way the fields are seeded, and how they are inspected by officially recognized third-party agencies. It also governs the seed stock used, harvesting, cleaning, and transporting of the seed. The motto of pedigreed seed farmers is ‘start clean, stay clean’.
Avena Foods ‘Purity Protocol’ oats meet and surpass the gluten-free standards of the GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization), GFCP (Gluten-Free Certification Program), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and Health Canada.
In January 2018, Avena Foods Limited welcomed a new partner into the fold. Best Cooking Pulses, Inc., a family-owned agri-foods company that had been active in the international pulse trade since 1936, was looking to expand beyond its pulse offerings. Avena Foods Limited wanted to extend the crops grown under ‘Purity Protocol’ and to move beyond their grower co-operative ownership.
The shared values of these two Canadian companies serves as the foundation for the new Avena Foods Limited:
- strong partnerships with farmers,
- the milling of traceable, high quality, safe ingredients,
- exemplary quality and food safety systems,
- respectful relationships with customers and staff, and
- sustainable environmental practices.
¹ Health Canada. 2007. Health Canada’s position on the introduction of oats to the diet of individuals diagnosed with celiac disease (CD). www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/allerg/cel-coe/oats_cd-avoine-eng.php.
² Allred LK, Kupper C, Iverson G, Perry TB, Smith S, Stephen R. 2017. Definition of the “Purity Protocol” for producing gluten-free oats. Cereal Chemistry 94:3.