The Inside Scoop on Organic Oats

Kylie Hollonds

The organic industry in Australia is currently worth $2.6 billion dollars and ever-growing; this growth is driven by consumer demand for natural, pesticide-free and synthetic chemical-free wholesome food and a growing awareness of environmentally sustainable practices.

GF Oats began to import our Certified Organic Oats in 2015 by popular request, and demand is ever increasing. To maintain our Certified Organic status here in Australia, we have to present an organic body certified organic documentation from our growers and then provide them with adequate traceability to ensure that the product maintains its organic standing along the supply channels in the same manner as for preventing contamination in gluten-free products. 

What difference does the Organic certification really make? Why should consumers care? The foods and ingredients that are produced as organic goods are done so in a strictly controlled environment that ensures every aspect of the product conforms to organic standards. This enables us to say that when seeing an Organic label, you can be sure that:

  • No synthetic chemicals, pesticides or herbicides are used
  • The products are made without artificial colours or preservatives
  • All livestock are reared in humane, free-range conditions
  • No antibiotics are administered
  • No genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are present

All this can lead to an expensive product; but what benefits can you claim from these increased costs? To farm organically is expensive; if you grow your own vegetables you know that without the conventional use of pesticides and herbicides, the soil preparation, organic fertilizers and insect control products can be costly… and that doesn’t include the price of labour!

With these costs in mind, why should you choose the benefits of Organic oats? Independent studies have shown:

  • The advantage of increased nutritional benefits! Produce not exposed to the chemicals used in conventional farming is far more nutritious and abundant in vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
  • The strengths of going pesticide free! There has been a lot of information shared about the dangers of glyphosate in particular which is the active ingredient in many herbicides, and these chemicals often leave residue on produce. Our GF Oats are sourced from a totally glyphosate free environment, and so are free of these remnants. Whew!
  • The merits of living sans additives! GF Oats and associated product just don’t contain any artificial ingredients or chemical additives, no MSG or preservatives. Nasty stuff.
  • The improved taste of Organic products! You will see a slight difference in the texture of our Certified Organic Oats but the taste is the most significant improvement; that creamy pure taste of Organic oats is simply the best that oats can be. You can get yourself a sample of these in our online shop! 

So how can consumers tell they are sourcing genuine Organic products? A loophole means only one ingredient in a product need be Organic for the manufacturer to slap a big shiny ‘Organic’ on the label, so familiarise yourself with the logos of Australia’s organic certification boards and companies. Only genuinely organic products can be sold with these logos, and manufacturers must comply with regular inspection. Here at GF Oats, we are certified with the ACO Certification Ltd, meaning from the growing, shipping, packing and delivery of our Organic oats, we remain perfectly pure and perfectly organic.

Check out our FAQs and our compliance page for more information.

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❣️ Partnering with Legacy Australia with a National Biscuit Drive❣️

Kylie Hollonds

❣️ Partnering with Legacy Australia with a National Biscuit Drive❣️

 

GF Oats have proudly teamed up with Legacy Australia to support their fundraising activities for Legacy Week 30th August – 5th September, Remembrance Day and Anzac Day, with a National Biscuit Drive.

Offering businesses, cafes, schools and individuals the chance to support Legacy by purchasing either of our convenience biscuits packs in 2 flavours Chocolate Chip & the much-loved Anzac. Each biscuit is specially created for people with multiple food intolerance & dietary requirements, but, taste delicious!

For every twin pack of Anzac or Chocolate Chip Biscuits, GF Oats will donate 50c, monies will be distributed to various clubs around the country.

Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their recognised military service. They currently care for 52,000 people, including 1,845 children and people with a disability, throughout Australia.

You can be involved by purchasing via:

  • Our Online Store Biscuit Drive – Buy Now .
  • Participating with the School Biscuit Fundraiser package or
  • Purchase for your café or business

*Please send your expression of interest to participate to sales@gfoats.com.au and we will send the link to the media kit and ordering details for those with an ABN.

Thank you for helping us care for the children and families of Australian Defence Force personnel who gave their lives or health for our country.

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Can Oats be Gluten Free?

Kylie Hollonds

 There is a pervasive myth that oats cannot be gluten-free, but this cannot be further from the truth. What determines the presence of gluten in oats lies not in the oat itself, but in the way they are processed and prepared for sale. This problem arises in the issue of cross-contamination, wherein oats are processed in the same place as gluten-containing products such as wheat, rye and barley.  

So, are oats gluten-free? Pure oats are super safe for most people with gluten intolerance – so what’s the problem? Mainstream oats are processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye or barley, causing those oats to register levels of gluten far exceeding the standard for gluten-free food.

GF Oats sources our raw oat product from America, where a range of gluten free oats was launched in 2007 after successfully proving that oats grown and processed in isolation from gluten-containing grains were in fact gluten-free. Our founder Kylie reached out to this family-owned company in 2009 and after much due diligence the very first pallet of gluten-free oats was en route to Brisbane. One small hitch: under Australian labelling laws, a subclause prevents the labelling of any oat products as gluten-free, even after testing nil to any traces of gluten. As such, GF Oats have been working to comply with these standards since our conception, and to ensure our wording to our customers is clear and effective.

Currently, a study founded by the Coeliac Society is underway at Monash University, which may lead to Australian labelling laws to be adjusted to line up with the certification found in the rest of the word regarding the gluten-free status of oats. Unfortunately, the largest independent research study on oats conducted in the US in 2017 concluded that 1 in 100 Coeliac patients may still react to the avenin in oats, which is the naturally forming protein. This can cause confusion amongst consumers regarding the safety of oats for Coeliacs, as there is so much conflicting information on the internet, where oats are regularly declared to be gluten-free without proven sources to back up these claims. Another source of confusion lies in the fact that in most other countries, properly processed oats are labelled as gluten-free, so why can’t these same products be found in Australia? Is there something wrong with Australian oats? There’s no wonder this causes hesitation and anxiety when dealing with the already exhausting need to traverse a very restrictive diet. Here at GF Oats, it’s our mission to provide researched information to support and develop our understanding of the gluten-free status of oats.

Today Kylie and the GF Oats team are importing 20 tonne of gluten-free oats a month and supplying over 3000 stores across Australia and New Zealand. We are still only able to labels our oats as Gluten Friendly, for even though our oats test nil gluten, they cannot be labelled as gluten-free in Australia until the Monash oat study has been finalised, published and presented to the Food Labelling Standards of Australia.

It is factual and proven that oats don’t actually contain gluten; rather, they contain a protein called avenin and are therefore naturally gluten free. While at GF Oats Australia we can’t yet label our oat products as gluten free, by trying our products you get the benefits of wholesome, delicious food that is Gluten Friendly, Vegan, Uncontaminated, Wheat Free, and Certified Organic.
 
Wheat
 
 
References: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-in-oats#4

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All you need to know about our Oats - FAQ's

Kylie Hollonds
Frequently asked questions about our oats and oats related products.

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What we can call gluten free and what we can't?

Kylie Hollonds

Gluten Free Labelling Laws in Australia

Here in Australia, you will see foods labelled as gluten free, gluten friendly and low gluten – What do these mean?

FSANZ’s is our labelling governing body here in Australia and their role is to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of safe food supply.  FSANZ stands for Food Safety Australia and New Zealand and is a strong independent body of experts on a panel, that has a partnership between the Commonwealth; Australian States and Territories; and New Zealand. One of the panellists includes a member of the Coeliac Society of Australia, representing those who have an allergy to gluten and are required to follow gluten free diets. 

FSANZ is responsible for developing, varying and reviewing standards and for developing codes of conduct with industry for food available in Australia and New Zealand covering labelling, composition and contaminants.  In Australia, FSANZ also develops food standards for food safety, maximum residue limits, primary production and processing and a range of other functions including the coordination of national food surveillance and recall systems, conducting research and assessing policies about imported food.

Australia & New Zealand labelling laws:

Our 2 countries are very tough when it comes to labelling laws and when you compare the laws here to other countries they are the toughest in the world.

Australia and New Zealand have the toughest labelling laws in the world; these have been set by the Australia New Zealand Food Standard's Code. This gives a great deal of confidence when choosing food for people with coeliac disease in Australia.

Gluten Free Labelling:  Foods labelled as “gluten free” must not contain any detectable gluten; and no oats or their products; or cereals containing gluten that have used malt or their products. Nil gluten equals <3ppm which is the lowest the machines can test down to.  In our online store, we can label our Honey as gluten free honey, we can label our soap as gluten free soap, but we are unable to label our oats as gluten free oats or our biscuits as gluten free biscuits, so we label them as gluten friendly.

Gluten Friendly is a term that is entering the market, seen on the menu’s around the country in restaurants, clubs & cafes. This is generally to protect the venues from any cross-contamination. The fact is unless you are eating at a dedicated gluten free venue, there is always a chance of cross-contamination. No matter how diligent the food prep is. In the case of GF Oats products, we are communicating that the product is safe for those avoiding gluten, not contaminated to gluten. This enables us to communicate our brand benefits to the customers who need us to comply with Food labelling guidelines.

Low gluten is another term you will see coined, however, the true definition of that is that the product tests to <20ppm. This is fine for people who are moderately sensitive to gluten. The difference between 3ppm and 20 seems small until you have an allergy to gluten, then this can make a difference. 

There is currently a study being conducted at the Monash University on oats, funded by the Coeliac Society, as part of the movements towards labelling uncontaminated oats as gluten free here Australia to avoid the confusion of being the only country in the world that doesn't make the label claim. 

Please refer to our FAQ's and Compliance Page for further clarification and study links. 

 

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GF Oats Compliance - Why trust us?

Kylie Hollonds

GK Gluten Free Foods are the largest Australian importers and suppliers of Uncontaminated oats or Gluten-Free Oats as it is referred to in other parts of the world, however, in Australia, a subclause in the labelling laws continues to prevent the labelling of any oats to be gluten-free.

GF Oats are the only brand in Australia, who import bulk oats from “Purity Protocol” growers around the world, who certify their oats as uncontaminated from the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley, and meet Australia’s strict gluten-free minimum testing guidelines.

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Australian and New Zealand Food Labelling Standards around Oats

Kylie Hollonds
In Australia, we are unable to label any product that contains oats as gluten-free oats. The Australian and NZ labelling laws restrict the use of the gluten-free oats claim until the results of an oat study are completed. Until then GF Oats test each load that comes into Australia and displays the results on their Compliance Page.

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GF Oats a member of the Purity Protocol - It Matters to our customers!

Kylie Hollonds
Gluten-free oats purity protocol was set up to ensure that customers were receiving pure oats that were not contaminated from the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley.

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GF Oats Partners with Legacy

Kylie Hollonds
In 2019 we launched our ANZAC biscuit just in time for ANZAC Day.  We were fortunate enough to meet a local manufacturer here in Toowoomba who saw our vision and their baker locked in on the challenge of perfecting this biscuit for me to meet all my crazy requirements. We are so proud of this biscuit and are excited to be selling the ANZAC biscuit Retail Packs, week on week across IGA and health food all around Australia. In 2020 we committed to introducing a snack pack for the convenience market to gain further reach and a Food Service pack.

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Your GF Oats Orders: Handled with Hygiene & Care

Kylie Hollonds

Procedures we are putting in place when we are dispatching orders.

Our team already adheres to strict hygiene & care practices; however, we want you to know how we are increasing these procedures during these times.

All the team here at GF Oats have access to soap & hand sanitiser and are washing and sanitising hands before handling any stock. Additionally, gloves are being worn while packing any stock to further reduce the risk through skin to package contact.

All GF Oats team members are encouraged to not attend work if they are feeling at all unwell, so please rest assured that we are all happy and healthy while we process and pack your orders.

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