The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has appointed two new directors, strengthening its senior management team. Véronique Discours-Buhot joins as director, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) while Ignacio Gavilan has arrived as director, Sustainability. In their new roles, Véronique and Ignacio will work with the wider Management Committee to define the strategic direction of the CGF, gather the necessary resources, and drive delivery of the strategy on behalf of its 400 members and in support of greater consumer trust and transparency.
The CGF holds a unique position in the industry as the only organisation which represents both manufacturers and retailers globally, with 50 of the world’s top CEOs on the Board. The organisation focuses on areas of non-competition, and engages in activities which improve the industry through positive and actionable plans.
As director, GFSI, Veronique Discours-Buhot will be instrumental in driving forward the CGF’s Global Food Safety Initiative to increase the level of food safety worldwide and to reduce the duplication of audits. Reporting to managing director Peter Freedman, Discours-Buhot is tasked with ensuring high quality and efficient leadership to the GFSI. Key responsibilities include bringing a strategic vision to the Initiative, helping to set and manage the GFSI Board agenda, steering Technical Working Groups, and overseeing collaborations with third-party global organisations. Over time, Discours-Buhot is expected to expand the GFSI so that it can even better deliver on its mission: .ensure safe food is accessible to everyone.
Discours-Buhot joins the CGF from VDB Consulting, a consumer goods consultancy firm which she founded and where she was responsible for advising on areas as diverse as crisis management, regulations and CSR. Prior to that, Discours-Buhot worked in senior positions for companies including the Carrefour Group and Promodes Group. Discours-Buhot brings to bear nearly 30 years’ experience in the FMCG, luxury goods industry and the public sector to her role at the CGF.
In his role as director, sustainability, Gavilan leads the CGF’s Sustainability team that aims to position the consumer goods industry as a leader in protecting against climate change and reducing waste. Gavilan is responsible for ensuring high quality, efficient strategic leadership and administrative support to the Climate Change and Waste agenda. In his role, Ignacio will lead the CGF Sustainability Steering Committee and Working Groups as well as engaging with members and external stakeholders to drive forward the CGF’s sustainability agenda.
Gavilan brings to the CGF more than 15 years’ experience in advising business on the practical, strategic, and commercial opportunities and risks of sustainability. Prior to his current role, Gavilan worked as founder & principal consultant at Accipiter, a sustainability advisory service where he helped SMEs working in international markets to create strategic sustainability roadmaps. Past experience also includes senior roles at Anglo American, BP and McDonald’s.
Freedman said: “Our two new hires will provide the CGF board with additional depth, experience and expertise. The Food Safety and Sustainability segments are particularly important to the long term interests of the consumer goods industry and comprise some of the issues that matter most to consumers. It is therefore critical that we have in place the right people to manage our initiatives in these areas. Véronique and Ignacio will provide just that leadership and I look forward to working with them in what will be an exciting time ahead for the consumer goods industry.”
As well as having dedicated sustainability and food safety teams, the CGF also focuses on four additional areas – health and wellness; social and environmental compliance; end-to-end value chain and standards; and knowledge and best-practice sharing.