Whole Grains Council

about us

About Us

The Whole Grains Council is a nonprofit consumer advocacy group working to increase consumption of whole grains for better health. The WGC's many initiatives

  • encourage manufacturers to create delicious whole grain products

  • help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits

  • help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains

Our Mission and History

In April 2002 a group of concerned millers, manufacturers, scientists and chefs gathered in San Diego at a Whole Grains Summit organized by Oldways Preservation Trust. They decided to band together to promote increased consumption of whole grains, and, jointly with Oldways, developed and are carrying out a campaign to encourage others to join in this important effort.

The first formal meeting of the WGC took place in July of 2003. At this meeting, participants outline goals for the fledgling organization, and decided how the important work of the WGC would be funded. Nine industry members stepped forward as sponsors to achieve the following goals:

  • To clarify the definition of “whole grain,” document the health benefits of whole grains, and advocate additional whole-grain health research.

  • To educate consumers about the benefits of whole grains

  • To help Americans find whole grains, with a packaging symbol, and educate them on cooking whole grains

  • To promote whole grains through a positive message about their benefits, rather than by criticizing refined grains.

  • To serve as a conduit between science, industry and consumers.

  • To help grain-product companies, retailers and restaurants meet the needs of health-conscious consumers with appealing whole grain products.

Our Accomplishments to Date

Since that first meeting, the Whole Grains Council has

  • Grown from 9 members to over 360, including many industry leaders. View Member Directory.

  • Created an extensive website with information for consumers and the press.

  • Achieved scientific consensus on a widely-accepted definition of whole grains.

  • Held six major conferences in November 2004, January 2006, November 2007, April 2009, January 2011 and October 2012 to move consumers to greater whole grain consumption.

  • Managed a continuing campaign to educate the media and the public about the health benefits and delicious tastes of whole grains.  We participate in over 200 stories every year in publications from the NY Times to Newsweek, and our work has appeared on Oprah and the Today Show.

  • Launched the Whole Grain Stamp, creating a familiar packaging symbol that helps consumers select and buy whole grain products. As of March 2014, over 9,200 products used the Whole Grain Stamp in 41 different countries and five languages.

Highlights of the Past Two Years

In 2010 and 2011 we continued our retail Stamp program, our ongoing media campaign, and other existing WGC programs, while also partnering with Registered Dietitians and other health professionals to educate consumers about whole grains. Other  programs have received more international attention than ever, proof that whole grains continue to be essential to better health and happier lives the world over.  Other accomplishments include:

  • Our Whole Grains Stampede Sweepstakes – a wildly popular sweeps that invited consumers to tell us about their favorite whole grain products for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Our wonderful prizes attracted wide interest.
     
  • The "I Love My Whole Grains" Photo Contest – a chance for consumers in the U.S. to show off their love and appreciation of whole grains through creative photos, with the grand prize winner receiving a personal chef's visit to prepare a week's worth of whole grain meals.

  • The Whole Grains Challenge – a program of incentives to get restaurants and foodservice operations to serve at least one whole grain option at all times, and to publicize participating restaurants to consumers.

  • The "Whole Grains on Every Plate" conference – our most recent conference was held October 17-19, 2012, and featured presentations on how whole grains are making their way onto every plate, at every meal around the world.

  • Whole Grain Sampling Day – an annual event on the first Wednesday in April offering the opportunity to get whole grains out to consumers, this event partnered WGC members with supermarkets, foodservice outlets and others to show just how great tasting and nutritious whole grains really are. 

Check this website for more details on all our programs as time moves forward.

All information on this website is © 2003-2013, Oldways Preservation Trust/Whole Grains Council, unless otherwise noted.