The first edition of the International Whole Grain Day on 19th November aims at celebrating the positive impact of whole grain on nutrition, wellbeing and sustainability. 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, via a moderated, interactive panel discussion. The panel discussion will be followed by a networking reception.

The objectives and key themes of the event are:

  • Encourage more people to “make their grains whole” as part of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns.
  • Act as an incubator for exchanging whole grain good practices, knowledge and initiatives across Europe to create an EU whole grain movement.
  • Create enabling environments from farm to fork, so consumers can better access healthier, affordable, convenient and delicious whole grain products.
  • Nudge consumers into making whole grain a daily habit via the promotion of meaningful whole grain recommendations in National Food-Based Dietary Guidelines.
  • Call on the EU and national governments to implement nutrition policies that address whole grain policy gaps (i.e. labelling and recommended intakes) and create enabling environments to support healthy, tasty and sustainable dietary switches.
  • Request official endorsement of the International Whole Grain Day 2019 and the subsequent yearly editions (2020 +)

Read more about the Whole Grain Initiative at

The upcoming HGF Autumn Workshop 2019 will be organised in Milan (Italy) in connection with the 10th International Forum on Food and NutritionThe Forum organized by the Barilla Foundation in collaboration with National Geographic, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Santa Chiara Lab – University of Siena (SCL), and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GAFF).

Barilla will kindly invite all HGF participants to their factory in Parma, including a visit to the durum wheat mill, in the afternoon of the 2nd of December. A bus transfer will be organized from/to Milan.

On the 3rd of December all HGF members are welcomed to the 10th International Forum on Food and Nutrition with the title “Fostering Business and Innovation while preserving Mother Earth“. Please find here the detailed agenda of the day . Please note that for this day you have to REGISTER HERE separately.

On the 4th of December the HGF workshop  with the title “Sustainability and Nutrition” will be organised in cooperation with the University of Milan – Department of Environmental Science and Policy and will focus on following topics:

          • EAT lancet: the role of whole grains in sustainable diets
          • Technology and Sustainable Grain Food Production
          • Grain Components & Whole Grain Food Definition

Please note that 2! registrations (one for the International Forum on Food and Nutrition and one for the HGF Autumn Workshop) are necessary!

For HGF Members both events are free of charge, while HGF NON-Members have to pay (in advance) EUR 150,- to be able to attend.

Find further details on the program, travel and  registration here:

  1. Final programme – 26.11.2019
  2. Travel Information
  3. HGF Workshop Registration Link
  4. BCFN Event Registration Link

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HGF Office (!


Find here some impressions of the cooking event at the Academia Barilla on December 2nd (for more pictures log into the members’ area):

We would like to draw to your attention to a students’ competition, organised by the ISEKI-Food Association within the Next FOOD project:
“Sustainable Cereals” Competition:

Teams of Master’s students from around the world are invited to address the following question in this 2019 Edition of the ISEKI-Food International Student Competition:

How can ancient/alternative grains contribute to improved sustainability of the cereal chain?

The competition aims to improve practical ability in identifying and solving real problems in sustainable food production/processing and uses action-oriented learning to train students to work together on skills that are essential for today’s job market.

Teams of 3 to 5 Master’s students registered in food-related programmes can apply to the competition. Teams must have 1 student who is team leader and 1 faculty mentor. Applications will require a project title of maximum 100 characters and a description of the problem/solution of maximum 1000 characters. Applications are available on the competition website.

The competition will open in early November with the first of 6 on-line training sessions. In early March 2020, the competition will end with a Virtual Conference where all teams present their projects and the winners are announced. The winning team will send one member to an international conference to present the winning project!

This competition is organised in collaboration with the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC) and is the 2nd “Sustainable Supply Chain” competition of the ISEKI-Food Association, through its affiliate European FooD-STA and under the umbrella of the FoodFactory-4-Us competitions. Read about previous competitions here. The competition series is one of the case studies of the NextFOOD project which promotes innovative education for sustainable agriculture.

Is your institution interested in the positive publicity of a sponsorship? Please contact Katherine Flynn at for more information.

During the 6th International Whole Grain Summit (Vienna, 13-15 November 2017) the Whole Grain Initiative (WGI) was established and it was concluded that harmonized global definitions of a whole grain ingredient and a whole grain food are needed to provide clarity to consumers, to provide a uniform basis for dietary recommendations and for nutrition and health research, and to serve as a level platform for industry. The overall goal of the Whole Grain Initiative is to increase worldwide consumption of whole grains. An International WGI Working Group (comprised of world-wide members from academia, government agencies, non-government organizations), and the private-sector evaluated existing definitions including Healthgrain and AACCI definitions and considered a wide range of member input from Working Group discussions.

Below you can find the elaborated Global Definition of Whole Grain as Food Ingredient which HGF endorses.

Global Definition of Whole Grain as Food Ingredient

In case you have any question or comment, please do not hesitate to contact the HGF Secretariat


HGF welcomes the new members of the Board and thanks Prof. Kati Katina (University of Helsinki) for her work and responsibilites as HGF Chair!

On June 17 following candidates have been approved by the General Assembly:

Prof. Nesli Sözer (VTT) as Chair

Prof. Marjukka Kolehmainen (University of Eastern Finland)

Elisabeth Riou (Mondelēz International)

Giancarlo Riboldi (Barilla)


Jan de Vries participated on behalf of HGF  in the Round Table entitled “Embracing Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Switches for You and the Planet’s Health!”, which took place on:

Thursday 7 March 2019, 11:00-12:30, at the European Parliament, Brussels  – room ASP 3H1. 

Aims of the Meeting have been:

1.Raise awareness of the simple, realistic and sustainable dietary switches everyone can make to their diets for better health and for the planet’s well-being, highlighting the important role wholegrain plays in this dietary model.

2 Build up a constructive dialogue between consumers, policy-makers, food industry and retailers on how to best motivate and create enabling environments to nudge consumers into adopting small, yet impactful low environmental impact dietary changes, for a healthy life for present and future generations.

3. Spotlight on Italy: how to increase wholegrain consumption in markets consuming lowest amount of whole grain to improve public health– elucidating the importance of the local context, culinary traditions and habits.

The event drew on the recent EAT-Lancet Commission report.

Francesco Branca presented (by skype) a short summary of the EAT-Lancet Report and had a clear message what WHO is aiming to achieve. He indicated that WHO will pay attention to whole grains in the upcoming time. This provides Healthgrain Forum and the Whole Grain Initiative opportunities to stand up as “the helping hands” to get whole grains on the agenda of WHO.

Sandro Dernini presented the role of the original Mediterranean Diet (that was used in the 50-ies and 60-ies) in a sustainable and healthy diet.

Then the MEP allowed a discussion between Francesco Branca and Sandro Dernini on the sustainable character of the Mediterranean Diet and how important it was to promote that diet against the ever increasing influence of the large food industries.

For HGF Jan de Vries was able to present the needs to create a transition from refined grains to whole grains in the perspectives of a sustainable and healthy diet. This transition nicely fits in the recommendations of the EAT-Lancet Commission.

Antonelli Pezzini presented his view on needs to shift to healthy and sustainable diets in the EU.

Find here the given presentation during the Round Table Discussion by Jan de Vries/HGF:

190306 HGF Presentation Brussels


The HGF Autumn Workshop 2018 will be organised in Uzwil, Switzerland. Bühler kindly offers their facilities for hosting. The workshop will be organised on November 12 – 13. Please save the date and join us at the workshop.

The following topics will be presented/discussed:

  • Several lectures on Wheat Intolerances
  • Arabinoxylans and ß-glucans – Processing and consequences for nutritional quality.
  • A tour to Bühler Grain Technology and Bakery Innovation Centers
  • Future Strategy of HGF
  • Ancient grains and future possibilities
  • Feed Back of the working groups of WGS
  • Update on relevant projects on grains

Travel details, Program, and  registration form are available using the following links.

  1. Draft program for the Workshop
  2. Travel information
  3. Registration form (for HGF Members only)

In case Non-HGF Members are interested to join the workshop, please contact the HGF office!



This year, on the basis of the outcomes of the latest Whole Grain Summit, ICC launched the Whole Grain Initiative. The goal of this initiative is 1) to gain engagement, 2) share knowledge, information and resources and 3) create transparency and inclusivity on Whole Grains to increase the whole grain intake worldwide. The Initiative wants to act as an overarching counterpart for policy makers and donor organisations and facilitate the cooperation between organisations that agree upon these goals. You can find out more about the this First draft of Whole Grain Initiative