Grain News

Grain Foods Foundation Appoints Christine Cochran as Executive Director

Date Posted: July 13, 2012

The Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) has appointed Christine Cochran, current President of the Commodity Markets Council (CMC), Washington, D.C., as its new Executive Director.

While President of CMC, Ms. Cochran managed high profile public relations campaigns pertaining to commodity market issues; increased membership 35 percent and operating income 250 percent; and significantly improved communications with members and key stakeholders.

“The Grain Foods Foundation is very excited to bring on board an incredibly bright, talented and dynamic leader to aggressively promote the nutritional benefits of grain foods to key influencer communities.

"Ms. Cochran has the management style and skills to lead GFF in this challenging environment,” said GFF Co-Chair Breck Barton, Cereal Food Processors.

“From her family’s wheat farm in Kansas, to her Agriculture Economics degree from the University of Missouri, connections in the industry, and as a working mom, Ms. Cochran brings a host of excellent qualifications to this important leadership role.”

“The grain foods industry faces multiple challenges today, from fad diets and soft demand, to growing confusion by key influencers and policymakers, especially regarding healthy enriched products,” said GFF Co-Chair Allen Shiver, Flowers Foods.

“I am confident Ms. Cochran will apply her keen strategic perspective and infectious energy to move the needle with influencers and ultimately consumers.

"She is a passionate believer in our products and will work tirelessly on our behalf.”

“GFF’s target audience is moms who are the primary shoppers for their households,” said GFF Marketing Committee Chair Nan Redmond, Pepperidge Farm.

“Beyond her other impressive credentials, Christine is the target audience.

"She understands the influencers that moms look to for nutritional information and guidance.

"I am very excited to work with Christine to continue upgrading our efforts on behalf of the grain foods industry.”

According to Mr. Barton and Mr. Shiver, “GFF is committed to effectively influence behavior in the current nutrition environment and optimize its value to grain industry members.

"It is sharpening its focus on clear measurable goals and increasing proactivity in issues management, marketing and public relations.”

In January 2012, the GFF Board refocused its mission to 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.

GFF will continue to operate as an independent organization jointly trusteed by the American Bakers Association and the North American Millers’ Association.

It will continue to be a valuable partner with other members of the wheat grain chain.

During August, 2012, GFF will co-locate its office with ABA’s office in Washington, D.C.

This will position GFF closer to many key influencer organizations with which it hopes to work more closely.

For more information, call 970-626-5183.

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