Industry collaboration came into sharp focus on the final day of The Global Summit of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), as no less than six CEOs called on retailers and manufacturers alike to use common ground in the industry to improve their contributions to the dual global challenges of consumer health, and climate change.
The CEOs pointed to two of The Forum’s initiatives, where progress is already being made to create change industry-wide – Health & Wellness and Sustainability.
Dick Boer, president & chief executive officer, Royal Ahold and co-sponsor of the CGF Health & Wellness Initiative, told more than 900 delegates that while the world is seeing higher life expectancies, lifestyle-related illnesses are also rising greatly.
“As a forum, we can be proud of what we have achieved so far, but there is much more work to be done. We need to improve the health and wellness of our customers and staff, and to work together and lead as a group – for all of our members,” he said.
“This is why the CGF will be developing a measurement and reporting tool, together with Deloitte, to share experiences – success and failures – to track industry progress, and engage in fact based dialogue with the wider industry”.
Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer, Nestlé SA* and co-sponsor of the CGF Health & Wellness Initiative, said: “The Health & Wellness resolutions are voluntary commitments. They call for collaborative actions between retailers and manufacturers, food and non-food, and their common stakeholders to promote healthy living and a culture of prevention”.
“We see our industry as part of the solution. There are so many things we can do as an industry – each of us, big or small – driving our R&D efforts to meaningful concrete solutions, reducing public health sensitive nutrients in our products, giving consumers clear and easy to understand information on our packs, marketing our products responsibly to children. There is so much more that can be done, and should be done together. Let’s continue our efforts and continue this journey, with determination, so that, collectively, we can create a positive impactful change, and build up credibility around our efforts.”
Muhtar Kent, chairman & chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company, noted the key to improving the health of consumers around the world was to find ‘the golden triangle’ of collaboration between the private and public sectors together with civil society, in order to accomplish real change. Kent said: “It’s about the culture of how we operate. About ensuring we make the right choices. Businesses can’t do it alone. Government can’t do it alone. NGOs can’t do it alone. We need to create effective partnerships, raise awareness and raise the bar.”
Danny Wegman, Chief Executive Officer, Wegmans Food Markets, pointed to how individual member companies can deliver part of the solution: “At Wegmans, we’ve chosen a programme of extreme focus on health and wellness. We experimented, and if it worked, we share with others. For example, our ‘Half a Plate Healthy’ scheme is about filling a plate with fruit and vegetables on half a plate, and filling the rest with anything you like. The way we try and do it is through fun – we want to make being healthy a game which everyone can play.
“With over 10 million people in the companies of the CGF, imagine if we all improved the health of our people, and measured it. We would be a model for the rest of the world. I welcome you to join in”.
In addition to Health & Wellness, the CEOs also spoke about the need to improve global climate change – the focus for the CGF Sustainability Pillar.
Paul Polman, chief executive officer, Unilever* and co-sponsor of the Sustainability Pillar, recognised the early progress to date of the Sustainability group in battling climate change, but called on the consumer goods industry to do more. He said: “The Board of the Consumer Goods Forum committed to mobilise resources within their respective business to help achieve zero net deforestation by the year 2020. The CGF has already published recommendations on sourcing sustainable palm oil and paper and packaging .We recognise from the outset that we will also need to work in partnership with others. We simply cannot achieve this target alone”.
Philip Clarke, chief executive officer, Tesco* and co-dponsor of the Sustainability Pillar, echoed the need to collaborate and share progress as an industry: “The Consumer Goods Forum’s mission is ‘better lives through better business’. And our commitment to refrigeration is a great example. The Forum has committed to begin to eliminate HFC refrigerant gases from our estate from 2015. When we made this commitment few of us were certain that it would be possible. Only last week the retailers got together at a refrigeration summit in London, and we were all able to learn from each other’s experiences. It’s clear to us now that it is possible to for us to begin to eradicate HFCs from our installed refrigeration plants from around the world”.
Finally, during the closing session of The 57th Global Summit, hosted in Tokyo, the out-going Co-Chairs of the CGF, Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company and Gareth Ackerman of Pick n Pay, formally handed over the Co-Chairship of the CGF to new Co-Chairs, Dick Boer, CEO of international retailing group Royal Ahold, and Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé.
The CGF is an influential global organisation with over 400 members, representing €2.5 trillion in sales. Membership is equally represented by retailers and manufacturers.
The 2014 Global Summit will take place in Paris, 18–20 June.
For more information on the CGF Health & Wellness and Sustainability Pillars, please visit:
- Health & Wellness – http://healthandwellness.
- Sustainability – http://sustainability.
mycgforum.com/ (and the CGF Sustainability Activation Toolkit:http://sustainability. mycgforum.com/component/ content/article/1- uncategorised/31-download-the- cgf-activation-toolkit.html).
Information on the final three CGF Pillars (Emerging Trends, Operational Excellence and Knowledge Sharing & People Development) is also available on the CGF website: