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Partnerships, collaboration and innovation are key in developing healthy food solutions of tomorrow

In September, The Danish Cancer Society launched a toolbox for other EU countries to follow on how to establish and run a public-private whole grain partnership funded by the EU.

In 2009, 31 partners representing food authorities, health NGOs and the food industry got together and formed The Danish Whole Grain Partnership. Since the establishment, the partnership has successed in making 50% of Danes eat the recommended 75 grams of whole grains a day, compared to just 7% in 2004. Whole grains have long been a regular part of the Danes’ diet and research shows that whole grains help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, diabetes (type 2 diabetes) and cardiovascular disease.

The partnerships success is due to the large support from the industry to increase their whole grain product range and develop healthier products and meals with more whole grains in, along with a concerted communications effort and research by the authorities and NGOs.

Due to impressive results the EU has asked Denmark to share other countries the recipe behind the success. In September, The Danish Cancer Society  launched a toolbox for other EU countries to follow on how to establish and run a public-private whole grain partnership. The toolbox seek to enable other countries to follow the Danish example through a guide on implementing a successful national whole grain partnership with a market perspective.

A strong tradition for collaboration

The secret ingredients are partnerships and collaboration. They are some of the driving forces behind Denmark’s success in developing healthy and sustainable food solutions. We believe that only by working together, we can reach the best results.

“In Denmark, we have a strong tradition of collaborating across the private and public sectors. And exactly collaboration and knowledge-sharing are the keys to the results we have achieved in the Whole Grain Partnership in Denmark. We can’t wait to share our experiences and follow other EU countries in their journey towards their own whole grain partnership,” says Rikke Iben Neess, campaign manager in the Whole Grain Partnership.

The roots of our collaborative culture lie in the Danish cooperative movement. Starting in the late 19th century, the first farm cooperatives demonstrated the power of pooling resources and knowhow to mutual benefit. Cross-disciplinary collaboration is still a characteristic of the Danish food cluster – and it is key to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: The Danish Whole Grain Partnership, The Danish Cancer Society