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Changes at the Grain Foods Foundation

ACTION

On January 26, 2012, the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) board of trustees unanimously agreed to refocus the GFF mission, location and leadership as part of a strategic move to update the organization’s mandate.

Mission

GFF’s refocused mission is based on three main objectives:

  1. Prioritize “influencing the influencers.” GFF will change the primary focus of its efforts from consumers to key influencers. It will aggressively promote the nutrition benefits of grain foods with key influencers, including health and nutrition professionals, appropriate health related organizations, health and nutrition policymakers, and leading nutrition journalists and bloggers.
  2. Proactively track and preempt misinformation. GFF will proactively track grain focused initiatives (studies, books, broadcasts, articles) with the goal of preempting or countermanding misinformation regarding grain foods on an ongoing basis. The GFF Scientific Advisory Board members will lead efforts to provide rapid response to false communications and claims against grain foods, including fad diets.
  3. Maintain crisis management reserves. To effectively guard against potential extreme attacks against grain foods, GFF will develop a crisis communications plan and continue to develop appropriate reserves to enable prompt industry response to neutralize such attacks.

Location and Leadership

The GFF will relocate its office in 2012 from Colorado to Washington, DC. This will facilitate its ability to work more closely with many key influencer organizations.
Also during 2012, GFF will seek a new leader. Judi Adams, the current GFF president, has been offered a position as chair of the revitalized Scientific Advisory Board. NAMA President Mary Waters and American Bakers Association President and CEO Robb MacKie are developing recommendations for a new leader with experience in marketing and public relations.

BACKGROUND

Members of NAMA and ABA came together in 2004, establishing GFF to educate consumers about the health benefits of bread and grains, as well as to respond to a downward trend in flour consumption due, in part, to the Atkins high protein diet.
Directed by a board of trustees, funding for GFF is provided through voluntary donations from private grain-based food companies and is supplemented by industry associations, including NAMA. NAMA has committed $50,000 annually to GFF from 2011-2013.

Since 2010 GFF has worked closely with the Wheat Foods Council (WFC), and the two organizations were being co-managed by Judi Adams.  The WFC, a leading source of science-based information on wheat and grain foods nutrition, also promotes consumption of wheat foods, targeting health and nutrition practitioners, educators, the media, and consumers.  NAMA sits on the WFC board and provides $16,000 in annual funding.

NAMA ‘s goal is that following GFF’s restructuring, the two groups will remain aligned working toward their common goal of increased consumption of grain based food products.

Prepared by Mary Waters, President, 202.484.2200, ext. 11, [email protected]

Last updated February 23, 2012

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