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Why consumers should choose whole grain first: the potential of a EU Whole Grain Partnership

Whole grain and fibre | 09 July 2018

Christina Sadler, Senior Manager for Nutrition and Health at EUFIC, joined the discussion on why we need a EU Whole Grain Partnership to improve health and well-being in Europe.

 

On June 27 a series of stakeholders from academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry and public health authorities held a roundtable to discuss the establishment of a European Whole Grain Public-Private Partnership, inspired by the successful Danish Fuldkorn Partnership model. The event, ‘Partnering on Whole Grain for Health and Well-Being: why consumers should choose whole grain first’, was co-hosted by the Healthgrain Forum and the European Cancer Leagues.

Christina Sadler, Senior Manager, Nutrition & Health at EUFIC, shared the learnings and challenges faced in communicating about whole grain, to understand why we still fail to consume enough whole grain, despite their acknowledged positive benefits for health.

In particular, Sadler presented EUFIC approach to its communication materials, which aim to be accessible to a general audience, appealing with many visuals, and actionable by including practical tips that people can apply in their everyday lives. What is whole grain? Why choose whole grain? How to eat more whole grain? The social media campaign “Hungry for #wholegrain” reached over 300,000 people, with over 9,000 engagements.

A call for action

''Partners need to continue to work together to establish a quantitative dietary recommendation, and to translate this into meaningful advice for the consumer'' she highlighted in her presentation.

During the day it was agreed that collaboration is needed to establish a clear definition of whole grain and criteria for labelling whole grain products, enabling consumers to make an informed choice. In parallel, actions must be taken to increase accessibility of whole grain foods.

''Communication also needs to remain a priority – continued Ms. Sadler - all partners are invited to share the messages with their networks, to have wider reach and higher impact, to educate and encourage people to eat whole grain''.