NAMA and ABA Agree To Form Joint Committee To Address Nutritional – Public Awareness Campaign For Grain-Based FoodsJune 6, 2003
CONTACT: Betsy Faga, President
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 6, 2003 – The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) and the American Bakers Association (ABA) agreed this week to formally construct a joint committee to oversee the planning and implementation of a nutrition education public awareness program for grain-based foods.
Following a series of comprehensive discussions between both NAMA and ABA’s leadership, it is the desire of both organizations to work closely together in addressing a common concern. The organizations realize that maintaining the status quo is unacceptable and that the misperceptions and myths surrounding grain-based foods need to be set straight. “We need to aggressively communicate the proven health benefits, convenience and appeal of grain-based foods,” said Paul Abenante, ABA president and CEO. The joint committee will consist of two representatives from ABA: Patrick Callaghan, Pepperidge Farm, and Joe Schwebel, Schwebel Baking Company, and two representatives from NAMA: Kevin Kelly, General Mills Bakeries & Foodservice, and Phillip Strongin, Cereal Food Processors, Inc. The committee will be working on various elements to identify how to increase appeal and consumption of grain-based products.
While both organizations recognize the need for a progressive approach, all agree that any type of future program needs to be well thought out and carefully put into place, as well as, have a clear method of measuring results. “It is imperative that we face declining consumption head on, but we must be sure we are addressing the right problems,” said Betsy Faga, NAMA President. “Once we have a clearer idea of our direction, we hope other organizations in the grain-based food chain will join in our effort,” she concluded.
NAMA and ABA also recognize that this is a significant step and a “first” for both organizations. Many questions and issues remain; yet, there is strong agreement by both organizations to work together through the myriad of complex issues necessary for any successful future public awareness campaign and to set realistic goals and objectives.