International Coeliac Day 16 May 2016

Every year, the 16th May is a day we observe in recognition of those affected by coeliac disease - as many as 70 million people could be affected worldwide

With diagnosis rates still low, many of our Member societies organise a range of awareness raising activities lasting anything between a day to an entire month. These events are aimed at helping doctors to identify the symptoms early on as well as helping those who may be experiencing symptoms that could be related to coeliac disease. The events provide important information to government institutions to gain support for those affected. 

Have a look at what our Member societies and coeliac organisations all over the world are planning over the next weeks:

Andorran Coeliac Society - Associació de Celíacs d'Andorra (ACEA)

The society celebrated with a range of activities and organised:

  • a conference with gastroenterologist Dr. Ramon Tormo who explained specific aspects of coeliac disease. Click on this link for a brief summary on YouTube.
  • special discounts on gluten-free foods to be offered on 16 May 2016 have been negotiated with various supermarkets in Andorra
  • an interview with a young girl in Andorra where she explains day-to-day living with coeliac diesease

Austrian Coeliac Society - Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Zöliakie

Founded in 1981 by parents of children with coeliac disease, the society celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Activities took place between 5-8 May 2016 in and around the city of Graz which included:

  • a visit to the Piber stud farm where the famous Lippizaner horses are bred that the world knows from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
  • sight-seeing tours of Graz and surrounding areas
  • a visit to the chocolate factory Zotter

For more information, please download the society’s latest newsletter (in German only). 

Czech Coeliac Society - Společnost pro bezlepkovou dietu

Gluten Free Expo in Prague 

14 May 2016

For the 11th year running, the society is organising a  "Forum celiaku" with more than 1,200 visitors expected to attend this popular event this year. 

Speakers include Dana Gabrovská of the Czech Federation of the Food and Drink Industries, Iva Hoffmanová, a medical expert on coeliac disease and Lucie Janotová, an expert on public catering.

Over 40 producers will be exhibiting their gluten free products during the event which also includes a cooking demonstration on the preparation of gluten free meals.

The event is being promoted in the media and the society’s Facebook pages and their website.

Celiacs' Association of the Czech Republic - Sdruzeni celiaku Ceske republiky

Information seminar and Food Fair

7 May 2016

The society organised a nationwide event for those affected by coeliac disease in the Czech Republic which was widely publisized in the national media with live transmissions running throughout on the day. 

As part of an information seminar, leading Czech medical experts in the field of coeliac disease gave presentations on the condition. Experts in gluten-free testing also shared information on this important area of food safety for those affected by coeliac disease. 

An ever popular gluten-free food fair where over 30 producers exhibited their products attracted a lot of visitors and going by the excellent feedback received, it seems it was a fun day for all!

For more information, visit the society's website

Estonian Coeliac Society - Eesti Tsöliaakia Selts

This year, the society celebrates its 20th anniversary and to mark the event its members were treated to a large gluten-free cake!

Activities organised for International Coeliac Day include:

  • a cooking class for the society’s members to learn how to make gluten-free pasta, dumplings and yeast dough.
  • publication of a new recommended foodstuff list on the society’s website
  • publication of an article in the magazine „Pere ja Kodu“ (Family and Home) on „Life without gluten and with coeliac disease“. This is a story where a mother and daughter, both members of the society, talk about their life.
  • press releases were sent to 18 media publications and also to the National Institute for Health Development, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the national Health Board, the Veterinary and Food Board, the Estonian Chamber of Disabled People and the Ministry of Social Affairs.
  • publication of a „like-share“ Facebook game with a question about coeliac disease. Winners will receive a gift card for a meal at a gluten free restaurant in Tallinn.

German Coeliac Society - Deutsche Zöliakie-Gesellschaft e.V.

Gluten-Free Activity Week

13-22 May 2016

Under the slogan “Aktiv glutenfrei!” (which means in German “to be actively gluten-free”) the German Coeliac Society "Deutsche Zöliakie-Gesellschaft e.V." is organising a range of activities all over Germany which include:

  • Activity Weekend in Eisenach, 13-15 May
  • Activity Week of restaurants with gluten-free specials, 14-22 May
  • Expert telephone hotline, 17-19 May
  • A variety of regional offers such as baking courses, courses for people recently diagnosed , information desks, gluten-free brunch, public lectures …

The society's planned activities are being promoted in the local media and through the society’s website and Facebook pages.

Coeliac Society of Ireland

Coeliac Awareness Week

9-15 May 2016

The theme for Coeliac Awareness Week in Ireland is raising awareness for the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease. For this purpose, the society has created an infographic to get this message across.

Over 20 planned activities will include:

  • support group meetings
  • cooking demonstrations 
  • information events on coeliac disease

For more information visit the society's website.

Italian Coeliac Association - Associazione Italiana Celiachia (AIC)

Between 16-22 May 2016, the Italian Coeliac Association is organising a national Coeliac Awareness Week. The aim is to inform the Italian public on coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet with particular focus on:

  • Gluten-free is not a trend, it’s a therapy!
  • Missing diagnoses - still too many afflicted by coeliac disease remain undiagnosed

A website has been created, dedicated to include the following information:

  • a press release
  • infographics
  • informative videos
  • leaflets to be printed and distributed
  • local cooking demonstration events
  • seminars in schools
  • cooking contests
  • training courses for caterers

A big convention on coeliac disease and food allergies is being held at the national Health Institute in Rome on 20 May. The event is in collaboration with the Italian Association of Food Allergies and the Italian Association of Lactose-Intolerance.

During this week, every call to the AIC is free of charge and a doctor, a psychologist and a nutritionist are available to provide information on coeliac disease, diagnose and Gf diet.

Luxembourg Coeliac Society - Association Luxembourgeoise des Intolérants au Gluten (ALIG)

The society organised a walk on 8 May in beautiful forest surroundings with a gluten-free high tea waiting at the end for the walkers.

An information leaflet on the diagnosis of coeliac disease was sent to over 2,100 doctors in the country together with a poster for their waiting rooms.

For more information on the society's activities, visit their website.

Coeliac Association of Malta

To celebrate International Coeliac Day, the society has liaised closely with the national media to include:

  • a press release issued 
  • various TV and radio interviews on or around the 16th May
  • participated in a daily TV programme

In 2015, the 25 March was established by Head of State President Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca as Coeliac Awareness Day in Malta. Since then, the society has provided active support by funding and promoting the event to its members and the general public.

Activities connected with this day have the support of the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. In conjunction with the President’s Foundation, a local event organiser has, for two years running, invited well-established professionals to deliver talks on the various aspects of CD. This year, two talks were delivered with one intended for medical practitioners and a second talk aimed at the general public.

Spanish Coeliac Society - Associació de Celíacs de Catalunya (SMAP)

On 22 May 2016, the society is holding a big party as well as a gluten-free food fair at which more than 50 companies will be exhibiting their last innovations in the gluten-free sector.

Attracting over 4,000 visitors a year, this is not just a fun family celebration, but is also an opportunity to raise awareness of coeliac disease. The general public gain access to information on the needs of coeliac patients.

A support plan for low-income families in the province of Barcelona has been negotiated with the Red Cross, details of which are being announced at a press conference being held on 18th May 2016.

Aimed at improving diagnosis of coeliac disease in Catalonia, the society has published a "Coeliac's Disease Consensus Document". This paper was developed in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Catalonia and other scientific organisations.

For more information, download the flyer or visit the society’s website.

Spanish Coeliac Society - Federación de Asociaciones de Celíacos de España (FACE)

The society has designed flags and balloons with a National Coeliac Disease Day logo as well as the logo of each of the society’s 17 Member associations. The balloons have an inscription for Twitter "hashstag #movimientoceliaco".

On 27 May 2016, FACE’s members are being encouraged to display these items in their houses and on balconies in all of the regional capitals. This is to raise awareness amongst the general public that coeliac disease can occur everywhere. The campaign will also highlight the necessity to obtain support for those with the condition. Some support has been achieved after many years of negotiations and needs to be maintained, but more support is needed.

The society is working closely with the national media and running a social media campaign.. Some restaurants will be offering discounted gluten-free meals.

For more information visit their website or Facebook page

Ukrainian Coeliac Society

Free From Food Event Ukraine

21 May 2016

The Ukrainian Coeliac Society is organising this B2B (business-to-business) event being held in Kiev for the first time this year.

Visitors and exhibitors will include manufacturers, retail, food services/catering, Food Technology Developers, food quality monitoring laboratory with accreditation) as well as buyers and consumers of these food products segments. Visitors will also include representatives of patient groups, doctors, opinion leaders in professional associations and communities.

For more information, download the leaflet or visit their website.

Coeliac New Zealand

Coeliac Awareness Week

16-22 May 2016

This year, the New Zealand coeliac society is holding its Coeliac Awareness Week between 16-22 May 2016.

A great line up of events is happening throughout May across New Zealand, ending with the Gluten Free Food and Allergy Show in Auckland. The show takes place at the North Shore Events Centre on 21-22 May 2016, running from 10am to 5pm each day.

Other activities also include:

  • national poster campaign encourages members, friends and stakeholders to put up posters all around their community and share online
  • national media and social media campaign
  • afternoon teas at cafes
  • pasta making classes for kids
  • food demos in supermarkets  
  • Chinese cooking classes
  • supermarkets will be offering gluten free products at discounted prices

For more information visit their website or Facebook pages.