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WGC Plans & Projects for 2019
Ongoing Support for Whole Grain Education, Research and Consumption. As always, we’re working hard to educate consumers about the nutritional and culinary beneﬁts of whole grains and to help them identify whole grains when they’re buying groceries or eating out. We also provide assistance to researchers, schools and nonproﬁts to help advance the whole grain momentum.
- Media Advocacy — We respond to frequent media inquiries and ﬁeld regular interviews about the health beneﬁts of whole grains and about the latest industry trends. We work to push the whole grain momentum forward by helping journalists write accurate and compelling stories about whole grains, in both the consumer press and the trade press.
- Educational Materials for Schools and Nonproﬁts – Most of our educational materials, handouts, recipes, and brochures are available as free, downloadable ﬁles that anyone can access and print. Additionally, we oﬀer schools, health clinics, SNAP/WIC program oﬃces, food banks and other nonproﬁts access to free educational materials including posters, buttons, and stickers.
- Assistance to Researchers – We help those studying whole grains by supplying information about the whole grain content of products and by oﬀering data and insight into consumer trends. On our website we highlight the ﬁndings of whole grain research from around the world and periodically compile summaries of these studies.
Support for Health Professionals and Foodservice. We can’t be everywhere, running demos and sampling events, so we partner with supermarkets, hospitals, universities and other foodservice providers to promote hands-on tasting opportunities and other activities
- Whole Grain Sampling Day - Our annual celebration falls on Wednesday, March 27 this year. For a full list of live events planned around the country, check out our map of scheduled activities.
- Whole Grain Resources- We’re continually creating and updating resources and content that companies and health professionals can use with consumers, on social media, and at tradeshows. Most recently we created a new whole grain poster, made infographics showing the results of our Consumer Insights Survey (here and here), and published our Whole Grains Around the World four-week menu-plan book featuring recipes inspired by the traditional ingredients and ﬂavors of Mediterranean, African, Latin American and Asian cuisines. We’ll be releasing more content throughout 2019, including more resources for use in schools and with children. We will be having many of our most popular handouts translated into Spanish and Chinese as well.
Regulatory Advocacy. We continue to be active on both the national and international level, in advocating for clear whole grain deﬁnitions and supportive dietary guidelines.
- Oﬃcial Comments and Media Statements – We routinely submit oﬃcial comments on proposed government regulatory changes (most recently, in October we submitted comments to FDA on multi-year nutrition innovation strategy). We also release media statements when there is breaking news – whether regulatory or scientiﬁc (in December we published a blogpost and media statement in reaction to the release of the USDA’s ﬁnal rule on school meal ﬂexibilities).
- 2020 Dietary Guidelines – We’ve always got our eye on the regulatory decisions on the horizon and will be very actively supporting and advocating for a strong role for whole grains in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines.
- International Whole Grain Initiatives Working Groups — Kelly Toups and Caroline Sluyter are each co-chairing one of the six international working groups that came out of the Vienna Whole Grain Summit in November 2017. Both the working groups that the WGC is involved with are aimed at advancing consumer education and promoting whole grain consumption worldwide by supporting the development of Public-Private Partnerships and by assembling science-based arguments to counter common grain myths. Overall, this initiative is working to harmonize whole grain deﬁnitions worldwide, to provide a better foundation for research, regulation/labeling and manufacturing.
- International Whole Grain Summit – The WGC team will be working alongside international colleagues to assist in planning the next Whole Grain Summit, helping to shape the agenda and identify key topics and issues to be covered. Much like the Whole Grain Initiative working groups, the purpose of this summit is to bring together whole grain advocates from around the world to discuss and coordinate consistent strategies for regulation, labeling, research, etc.
Educational and promotional opportunities for WGC Member Companies.
- Whole Grains Conference – We’ll be announcing our next 2020 conference in the fall and in the meantime we look forward to building on the momentum of our recent 2018 conference in Seattle. Our conferences oﬀer participating companies the opportunity to network and learn about cutting-edge trends and industry best-practices. Our agenda is packed with presentations from leading experts and our audience is ﬁlled with media representatives, food service operators, chefs, manufacturers, RDs, and scientists.
- Webinars – To help further whole grain education and support the development of new and innovative whole grain products, we will be oﬀering periodic webinars. WGC Members will be notiﬁed of upcoming webinars through our monthly Member Email Newsletters.
- Whole Grains Month – Our annual month-long celebration of all things whole grain oﬀers manufacturers a great opportunity for extra visibility and social media attention.