WASHINGTON — Efforts to gain approval for a breadbasket checkoff have progressed, according to the Grain Foods Foundation.

In an update from the GFF, Christine Cochran, executive director, said current efforts are centered on dialogue with the US Department of Agriculture and continued agency interactions related to prospective promotion programs.

Discussions with the USDA are focused on ensuring the proposed program is fully compliant with Department requirements.

“To continue the checkoff regulatory effort, USDA requires the Foundation to secure a letter of credit, which is in process,” Ms. Cochran said. “Industry must cover the legal and administrative fees incurred by USDA, and the letter of credit will replace the Foundation’s previous financial obligation to the agency.”

The update followed a decision in September to withdraw the publication of a draft order of the program. The retreat came in response to objections from a number of member companies of the American Bakers Association.

In connection with potential programming under a checkoff, the GFF has continued to partner with O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul, a Chicago advertising agency, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, a global law firm also based in Chicago. With the advertising and law firm, the GFF has begun trademarking a  “Love, Bread” campaign developed by OKRP. 

“While we are some months away from taking ‘Love, Bread’ to consumers, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars of creative work to be protected — beginning now,” Ms. Cochran said. “We are so excited about these assets — and we are not only eager to safeguard them, but we cannot wait to show them to industry audiences in coming weeks.” 

GFF also has been working with public relations and retail promotions partners — Current Global and Upshot Agency, respectively, both based in Chicago.

“Both groups remain committed to our project and are eager to begin,” Ms. Cochran said. “We look forward to leaning on their expertise as we get closer to rolling out a campaign.” 

More information about the Breadbasket Checkoff may be found at www.checkoff.grainsfoundation.org.