Welcome to AOECS

The Association of European Coeliac Societies - also known as AOECS - is the umbrella organisation of European national coeliac societies with currently 35 Full Member societies across Europe. AOECS represents people who are affected by coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and seeks to collaborate with international coeliac organisations worldwide.

International Coeliac Day (ICD) 2018 was celebrated on 16 May 2018 to raise awareness of the disease across the globe.

This year, AOECS and the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) came together ​to call for the EU and its member states to take actions to achieve earlier diagnosis of the disease in children. Coeliac disease is the most common food-related chronic disease among children in Europe, with prevalence rising in recent decades. However, up to 80% of coeliac disease cases remain undiagnosed in children, which can lead to many serious health complications. The manifesto issued by the two societies is available here.

In addition, AOECS organised an event around ICD at the Free From Functional Food Expo on 16 May in Stockholm. Please take a look at the Events section for more details. Finally, member societies are organising various events in their countries. Click "Find out More" for full details.

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Applying that ratio, it can be assumed that more than 7 million people are affected by coeliac disease across Europe, with only approximately 25% of those actually receiving a diagnosis. Coeliac disease can present with a wide range of mild to very severe symptoms with the only treatment being a strict daily gluten-free diet.

AOECS aims to improve the quality of life for people with coeliac disease, for example by ensuring wide availability of safe gluten-free products across Member countries. The AOECS licensing scheme permits the use of our trademark-protected Crossed Grain symbol on tested gluten-free products across Europe. This highly visible symbol is easily recognisable irrespective of language barriers. So even when travelling, coeliac consumers are able to follow a strict gluten free diet and remain healthy.

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Due to our strict licensing requirements for the use of the Crossed Grain Trademark, surveys have shown that coeliac consumers see the symbol on gluten-free products as a safety guarantee. Every licensed product has undergone testing in an accredited laboratory to ensure its gluten content is less than 20 parts per million (ppm). In addition, each product’s manufacturing plant is audited once a year to ensure a consistent gluten-free production.

Our Member societies have currently licensed up to 12,000 gluten-free products across Europe.

The Crossed Grain Trademark is a registered trademark and we work very hard to protect it by ensuring that all infringements are dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Look out for the license number under the trademark on the packaging to be sure the product is under an authentic license. It would look like this: country code-license code-product code, for example for Belgium it could be BE-160-055. 

Read more on our gluten free certification scheme.

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