Cereal consumption of tomorrow: Innovations around products and services for better health in Sweden
In the recent days, the very first meeting of a Swedish whole grain partnership was held. Several of the members of the Nordic Rye Forum were involved in an application that was granted by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), in their Challenge-Driven innovation (CDI) funding program. The program is intended for projects that aim to contribute to achieving the global sustainability development goals in Agenda 2030.
Aim of the project
The aim of the granted project is to establish a public-private partnership to promote increased whole grain intake for improved public health through innovations around products, services and communication.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 70 percent of deaths worldwide, and constitute one of the largest societal challenges for a sustainable development. One of the goals of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 is to ensure health, for example through reduction of NCDs. High whole grain intake is strongly associated with reduced risk of major NCDs, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. However, in Sweden whole grain intake is far below the recommended 75 gram per day.
The establishment of a public-private partnership is proposed to engage key stakeholders in society, including industry, academy, municipalities, regions, retailers and NGO’s, aiming to increase whole grain intake in Sweden. This is to be done through accelerated innovation around whole grain products and actions in different parts of the society that increase availability of whole grain products and awareness of its health benefits. In parallel, changes in whole grain intake will be monitored and health effects evaluated.
Inspired by the Danish Whole Grain Partnership
A public-private whole grain partnership has been successfully implemented in Denmark, where average whole grain intake increased from 36 to 63 grams per day over seven years. Encouraged by the success in Denmark, the Swedish whole grain partnership aims to innovate and develop new products and services to increase availability of whole grain products and awareness of its health benefits. These efforts are expected to lead to increased whole grain intake for the benefit of public health in Sweden.
Three phases of the funding program
The CDI program is divided into three phases, Steps 1-3. In the present application, funding for Step 1 was granted for the formation of the partnership member constellation and the setting of a project plan for Step 2.
Initial partner constellation
The initial member constellation of the partnership includes Chalmers Technical University, Lantmännen, Fazer, Pågen, Leksandsbröd, Nestlé, the Swedish Food Federation, the Bread Institute, the Municipality of Gothenburg, the Heart-Lung Foundation and Konsumentföreningen Stockholm (KfS; the consumer organization of Stockholm). Shortly, new members from a broad societal spectra will be invited.
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