Vienna Whole Grain Declaration

VIENNA WHOLE GRAIN DECLARATION - A Call to Action for Increasing Whole Grain Intake

from the participants of the 6th International Whole Grain Summit in Vienna 2017


For over three decades, repeated studies have clearly demonstrated that people eating more whole grains have reduced risks of many diseases compared to those eating less. This has led many countries to adopt specific recommendations for people to choose whole grain-based foods instead of refined grain-based foods. Yet current data suggest that whole grain intake in most countries remains well below existing recommended levels, which is a concern for long-term public health.

To increase whole grain intake, efforts cannot be limited to one or two stakeholders, and must be addressed using the combined efforts of all parties involved in the food supply chain. For this reason, more than 200 renowned experts and leading stakeholders, representing more than 35 countries, came together at the 6th International Whole Grain Summit, 13-15 November 2017 in Vienna, Austria, with the common goal of creating a collective action plan to increase whole grain intake worldwide, for the health and well-being of all people.

This declaration reflects the experts’ consensus on the principal goals that must be addressed, and the actions that must be taken in order to increase whole grain intake.


Four key goals must be met to drive whole grain acceptance and product availability, and to create and execute appropriate communication and education programs. Using the World Café discussion process, Whole Grain Summit participants identified the following goals and specific action points that will help achieve them:





Reach consensus on a global definition of a whole grain (raw materials) and on the definition of a whole grain food.

•    Convene a global working group including key grain science groups and experts from diverse regions, to finalize a definition of whole grain (raw materials) using the Healthgrain Forum definition as a starting point.

•    Follow a similar process for defining a whole grain food, once a global intake recommendation has been agreed (see below).


Intake Recommendation
Reach consensus on recommended quantitative whole grain intake, backed up by both health and economic research.

•    Document the health evidence for a specific whole grain intake recommendation.

•    Commission an evaluation of the economic impact on health care costs, productivity and other factors, from following such an intake.

•    Prepare a report detailing the intake recommendation and its economic impact, that can be delivered to policy makers globally.


Reach consensus about the contributions of whole grains to sustainable diets and the health of the planet.

•    Document the carbon footprint of whole grains compared to other dietary choices, in the context of growing world populations and climate change.


Promotion and Education
Form ongoing partnerships working together to increase whole grain consumption and to disseminate authoritative whole grain statements and campaigns globally.

•    Create a “how-to” kit detailing ways to create public-private partnerships (involving entities such as WHO, FAO, nutrition non-profits, disease associations, governments, etc.) and how these partners can best work together.

•    Develop evidence-based fact sheets addressing popular myths/questions about whole grains and possible emotional appeals (tied to local cultures) to gives these facts greater impact.



To carry out the action points necessary to meet the key goals, Whole Grain Summit participants agreed to work together on a global “Whole Grain Initiative” and to initiate the following six international working groups. All relevant experts worldwide are invited to participate in these groups, by contacting ICC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • International Working Group on Whole Grain Definition(s)
  • International Working Group on Whole Grain Intake Recommendation(s)
  • International Working Group on the Economic Evaluation of Increased Whole Grain Intake


  • International Working Group on Sustainable Whole Grain Consumption
  • International Working Group on Best Practices for Public-Private Partnerships
  • International Working Group on Fact Based Whole Grain Information

This Vienna Whole Grain Declaration was drafted at the 6th International Whole Grain Summit, 13-15 November 2017 with the participation of experts from the following organisations: [will be listed upon formal confirmation]



The Whole Grain Summit 2017 organisers were:

The International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC)

ICC is an independent, internationally recognized organisation of experts specialising in the milling of wheat and other cereals, bread making, and the production of other cereal-based foods from around the world. In more recent times ICC has expanded its focus to address issues that contribute to improved food quality, food safety and food security for the health and well-being of all people. ICC is an apolitical forum for all cereal scientists and technologists, a publisher of international standard methods and a scientific journal, an organiser of major national and international events in the field, a promoter of international cooperation on a global, regional and national level as well as a significant player in coordinating and participating in international research projects.

Healthgrain Forum (HGF)

The Forum, based in Europe and with links worldwide, is an active network of universities, institutes and industries interested in grain and grain-based products. Its vision is that whole grain and high fibre grain-based foods assist consumers in health maintenance worldwide, help reduce health care costs and provide added value for companies in the production chain from farm to fork. The Forum formulates priorities for research communications activities, with the overall aim of increasing consumers' intake of protective components in whole grains.

University of Minnesota

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota creates and shares knowledge to ensure a safe, healthy, and appealing food supply that supports the well-being and prosperity of people and the environment. Innovating together to improve health through food is one of its main goals and it is committed to: Discovery, outreach, and teaching that is ethical, rigorous, and relevant; being collaborative and compassionate; work guided by integrity, innovation, and diversity guide our work; and an approach and focus shaped by excellence and service to society.

Further information on the Whole Grain Summit 2017 can be found at



Whole Grain Declaration - English - DOWNLOAD

Whole Grain Declaration - Chinese - DOWNLOAD


Other links:

EU Science Hub on Whole Grain 

Global Whole Grain Definition - Draft document for discussion - 20181021

Definition of Whole Grain as Food Ingredient - 20190501c