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The Whole Grain Initiative launches the first International Whole Grain Day and calls to take whole grain seriously


19 Nov 2019


Agriculture & Food

Vienna, 19.11.2019: The Whole Grain Initiative, a partnership of leading international organisations dedicated to promoting whole grain, is calling on EU Member States to prioritise whole grain in their national dietary guidelines, to increase the consumption of whole grain.

International Whole Grain Day is launched today and aims to highlight the positive impact of whole grain on nutrition, wellbeing, and sustainability. To inaugurate the first edition of International Whole Grain Day, The Whole Grain Initiative will be hosting a launch event at the European Parliament in Brussels alongside MEP Elsi Katainen (FI, Vice-Chair of AGRI Committee). The event will look at how policymakers and stakeholders can work together to encourage more people to ‘make their grains whole’ as part of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns.

Michaela Pichler, Originator of the Whole Grain Initiative said, “The benefits of whole grain are well documented but, sadly, people still aren’t getting enough in their daily diets. This isn’t a problem we can solve on our own. We need to combine forces and help people to make whole grain a part of their lives. The Whole Grain Initiative is a chance for us to work with international stakeholders and explore ways how policy makers can start taking whole grain seriously. We’re excited to stimulate a conversation at EU policy level, and act as an incubator for exchanging whole grain good practices, knowledge and global initiatives to mobilise a whole grain movement.”

The panel brings together a number of leading stakeholders and Member States comprising the Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention (SIPREC), National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, European Public Health Alliance, Slovenian Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation.

Whilst there is no universally aligned recommended daily intake for whole grain, experts agree that we need to significantly increase our intakes. Studies from the EU suggest the majority of Europeans eats less than one serving of whole grain per day.1

“There are a number of things we can do to increase whole grain in our diets, but our first priority needs to be education” said Ms Pichler. “We need to help consumers understand the benefits of whole grain, where they can find it, and easy and quick ways to add it to their diet.”

For more information on whole grain, visit the Whole Grain Initiative Website :


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Notes to editors

About the Whole Grain Initative

The Whole Grain Initiative brings together key stakeholders from around the world, including many NGOs, academics and associations that share the same interest to increase whole grain intake.

On 19th November 2019, they are organising a launch event entitled “Take Whole Grain Seriously! Make your grains whole: for your and the planet’s health”, co-hosted by MEP Katainen (FI, Vice-Chair of AGRI Committee). The event will run from 15:00 to 17:00, at the European Parliament in Brussels. Click here for more information on the agenda. 

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