As an example, hopefully you will by now have had the chance to have a look at our new website. Many people have said they find it much simpler and easier to access than our previous (multiple) websites. It continues to evolve, week by week. Importantly, we have brought everything together under one roof – a symbol of a much larger change across the CGF. We want to make sure that everything the CGF does – from the Global Food Safety Initiative and the Global Social Compliance Programme to the Global Summit – are in future seen as central to the CGF family while building on their existing external profiles. Not only should this make it easier for our members to understand what we do, it helps the outside world to connect the dots and see the full scale of the consumer industry’s work to drive efficiency and positive change.
Externally too, we have been starting to build our profile. If you look at the “Around the Web” section of our website, you will get a sense of a recent step change in press and social media coverage of the industry’s and the CGF’s activities. That said, it was a step change from a very low base – so we recognise we have a lot more to do. At its recent meeting, your CGF Board members spent some time debating the topic of consumer trust in the industry – why it is at risk and what we as an industry can do about it. By and large the Board felt that through our Pillars we were at last starting to act collectively on the right issues but that, for sure, we were not communicating well enough what the industry is already doing. This is a very delicate journey – but one on which we must make faster progress in 2015.
2. MAKING IT EASIER FOR YOU TO ENGAGE WITH THE CGF’S WORK
Early in the year, many of you told me that you did not find it easy to engage with whichever of the CGF’s activities you found most valuable – whether that was our Pillars or our events.
Starting with our Pillars, we have been working on their “governance”. This may be a boring topic for most of us. But I believe it is a crucially important topic for an organisation like the CGF that is – and must be seen to be – run by its members. As you know, each Pillar is typically led by a Board or Steering Committee, and then gets its work done through a series of Taskforces, Working Groups and Local Groups. In this context, we have been working this year with each Pillar on a number of different aspects of their governance:
Opening up Pillar membership. Some Pillars have been seen as “cliques” – run by a small group of companies and closed to newcomers. This may be a little unfair, but perception is reality. All the Pillars now have plans to be more inclusive. Also, we in the CGF have set up a “member engagement planning process” to introduce some science into the complicated act of balancing the constraints of limited capacity with our members’ wants and the needs of the Pillar.
Introducing more objectivity and balance. At the same time some Pillars are seen as having a composition biased to manufacturers (or retailers), too dominated by large companies, or too focused on one industry sub-sector. Again we are working with each Pillar to introduce more objective processes for term limits, rotation and decision-making. The CGF’s role is to be the guardian of all our members’ interests in these processes.
Making the Pillars more transparent to our members. Lastly, the Pillars have been trying to get better at communicating with you, planning their activities in advance, and making sure you know who sits on which committees and taskforces. These are just very basic elements of making the Pillars more transparent – and I know we have more to do on each.
We are also working to make our events easier for you to engage with. Last year our two largest events – the Food Safety Conference in February and the Global Summit in June – both attracted record numbers of attendees, over 1,000 in both cases. But numbers are not everything. We are also trying to make our events more logistically accessible, rather than asking our members to fly half-way around the world. This year, given the escalating importance of food safety to everyone on the planet, we held a record number of regional events – in India, China, Japan and Mexico – to help members in these countries access global food safety best practices. Lastly, we have been working to increase the value added from all our events. As an example, our new IT Study Tour gave members an opportunity to engage first-hand on innovations and best practices in Silicon Valley. Our Future Leaders Programme and our Supply Chain conference also got exceptionally high ratings for relevance and value added.
Looking forward, the CGF’s Governance Committee recently took some decisions that will help us accelerate progress on engaging all our members. Two examples:
Strengthening Board governance. The Governance Committee has developed concrete proposals that will introduce some rotation into the composition of the Board and confirm the duties of Board members. These proposals, if approved by the full Board in June 2015, will help to strengthen the linkages and accountabilities of the Board to you, the members.
Integrating with ECR Europe and ECR Asia Pacific. The Governance Committee also approved a proposal to integrate the two regional ECR organisations into the CGF. While we will need some time to work through the practical details of this decision, I believe it will bring at least two benefits to all our members with activities in these two regions. First, it will help the CGF get closer to the national ECR and GS1 organisations, many of which are very vibrant and play a crucial role on the topics covered by the CGF’s Pillars. This will improve efficiency for you but also, by being more joined up, the industry will be able to have more positive impact on the world. Second, it will allow the CGF to offer you more regionally accessible events and engagement opportunities, without duplicating other events.
3. DELIVERING MORE VALUE TO YOU
The overarching objective of everyone at the CGF is to deliver more value to you, our members. Here more than anywhere, we are on a journey – as it is only if we get everything else right that you will be able to extract the maximum benefit from your membership. I know this will not be the last time that I ask for your support and patience as we work to get it right.
Here are four ways in which you can get value from the CGF and on which we have been working this year:
First, improving the industry’s – and your – reputation. With trust in the industry under threat, many of our members know there is a benefit in being able to state that they are part of an organisation whose unique mission is to drive positive change. Furthermore, actions speak louder than words and in a few cases you can already claim that we are “part of the solution” rather than being perceived as “part of the problem”. For example, the CGF’s work on deforestation is widely recognised as being ahead of most other industries. As a result, the CGF Board’s public statement in June was very well received by the UN, several governments and NGOs. At the same time, the Global Food Safety Initiative is making a difference on an issue that is in the news almost every week. In recognition of this, senior government food safety officials from China, Japan, Mexico and the US have all engaged directly and publicly with the GFSI this year.
Going forward, some more decisions at the recent CGF Board meeting will set us up to do much more. In 2015 the CGF will:
Lead the global scale-up of two programmes to support healthy living and position the industry as driving positive action on obesity and diabetes.
Establish a social agenda for the first time, leading collaborative efforts to improve the treatment of workers in the industry’s supply chains
Promote a set of Consumer Engagement Principles to signal the importance that the industry places on protecting consumers’ digital data
Launch a global initiative to accelerate the reduction in food waste across our industry
Second, providing you with operational support and best practices. We have launched or upgraded initiatives to bring you operationally relevant best practices in a wide range of fields including: eliminating HFCs from refrigeration equipment; training food safety auditors; monitoring social compliance; and delivering employee health & wellness programmes.
Third, establishing global standards that improve quality and save money for the industry. Both the Global Food Safety Initiative and the Global Social Compliance Programme are working to improve auditing quality and efficiency. The End-to-End Value Chain Pillar is working with GS1 on data quality and getting better product information to consumers.
Fourth, giving you access to unique global insights and networks. As one example, our 2014 Summit gave us all the chance to pick up insights into the opportunities presented by digital. This year the Summit will do the same on the issue of consumer trust.
4. INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE
I am lucky to have inherited a great team of people here and we have been joined this year by some new talent across our Pillars and Events teams. I am very grateful to them for all the hard work they have put in this year, on your behalf. But to move faster we will need to invest in some quite basic things, three examples being: developing our people; improving our communications; and upgrading our IT infrastructure. All these things will take investment and the Board at its recent meeting agreed some increases in our membership dues. We’ll be writing to you separately with the details but I hope you can see from this note that we always strive to spend your money wisely and are working just as hard as we can to deliver yet more value for you.
On that note, may I wish you a very happy and successful 2015.
STANDARD: The BRCGS Global Standard for Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing Issue 2 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing in November 2021.
BRCGS is an established global standards leader, with a rigorous GFSI recognised assurance program that touches every aspect of the 21st century supply chain – from food ingredients to packaging, distribution, retail and beyond. It sets the benchmark for best practice manufacturing, helping to provide reassurance that products and services are high quality, legal and safe. BRCGS is recognised across food and non-food categories as the global standard underpinning brand reputation through compliance, at over 30,000 certificated sites in 130 countries. Visit brcgs.com to find out more.
Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard
STANDARD: The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard 2.1 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scope CI — Social Compliance: At-Sea Operations in November 2022.
In 2018, Global Seafood Assurances and the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) announced a memorandum of understanding to work together to create the next version of the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), committing to expand its global applicability, which resulted in the creation of the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard. Now part of the Global Seafood Alliance, GSA took ownership of the standards last year. The first RFVS-certified vessel was announced in Australia in January, and the second set of RFVS-certified vessels was announced in the United Kingdom in April. The standard addresses social responsibility, including working conditions and worker voice, about fishing vessels.
STANDARD: The SIZA Social Standard Version 6 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scopes AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing, and BI — Social Compliance: Primary Production in June 2023.
SIZA, the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa, is enabling the South African agricultural sector to become a global leader in sustainable farming, ethical trade, and environmental stewardship. The aim is to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time. SIZA aims to have a cost-effective approach for growers by supplying one standard and one audit, no matter which market a producer supplies. SIZA engages directly with stakeholders throughout the value chain to improve supply chain sustainability, ensuring compliance and reducing risks while at the same time offering support and training with regard to best practices and continuous improvement. Verification occurs via third-party audits. For more information on SIZA, please visit our website: www.siza.co.za
STANDARD: The GAA Seafood Processing Standard Issue 5.1 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture production chain – including processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills. BAP standards cover environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety and animal welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.
Fairness, Integrity, Safety, and Health (FISH) Standard for Crew
STANDARD: FISH Standard for Crew Version 1.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope CI — Social Compliance: At-Sea Operations.
The Fairness, Integrity, Safety, and Health (FISH) Standard for Crew is a voluntary, third party labour certification program for wild harvest fishing vessels. FISH is designed to provide harvesters a tool to demonstrate to customers and other stakeholders that the seafood harvested comes from responsible sources with respect to crew treatment, compensation, and conditions. It was developed with input from the full seafood supply chain, including large and small harvesters, processors, retailers and restaurant groups, in consultation with labour non-profit organisations, to create a program that is open to vessels and fleets of all sizes around the globe. Read more about the Standard here.
STANDARD: The Florverde standard for the sustainable production of flowers and ornamentals version 7.2.1 is currently being benchmarked under Scope BI – Social Compliance: Primary Production.
Florverde Sustainable Flowers (FSF) is an independent social and environmental standard which ensures that flowers certified under this scheme have been responsibly produced. This requires flower growers to adopt measures that will protect and enable worker’s rights, implement best environmental practices, and comply with national regulations. FSF also helps safeguard quality by requiring the proper care and handling of flowers.
STANDARD: FSSC 24000 Social Management System Certification Version 1.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Processing and Manufacturing.
The aim of FSSC 24000 is to ensure that social sustainability management system requirements are met, resulting in certifications that assure organisations provide safe and fair working conditions, meet business ethics requirements, and apply due diligence in their supply chain management. FSSC 24000 provides a strategic approach incorporating the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and risk-based thinking, which ensures the identification and control of social risk and continuous improvement. This process demonstrates corporate responsibility and facilitates improving the social management systems and performance thus driving impact.
FSSC 24000’s scope of certification includes the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food), including its related service provision. The certificate confirms that the organisation’s social sustainability management system is in conformance with the FSSC 24000 Scheme requirements based on the following normative documents:
BSI/PAS 24000:2022 – Social management system requirements (Publicly Available Specification)
FSSC 24000 Additional Requirements (as determined by the FSSC Board of Stakeholders)
The FSSC 24000 certification scheme is owned and governed by the non-profit Foundation FSSC and outlines the requirements for the audit and certification of a Social Sustainability Management System of an organization. More information on the FSSC 24000 Scheme is available on their website.
STANDARD: The KFC Flowers and Ornamentals Sustainability Standard Version December 2021 is currently being benchmarked under Scopes AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing, and BI — Social Compliance: Primary Production.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is the country’s leading Business Membership Association for growers and exporters of cut-flower and ornamentals. KFC members account for approximately 80 percent of Kenya’s floricultural exports.
KFC also owns the Flowers and Ornamentals Sustainability Standards (FOSS), a trusted standard worldwide. It is one of only three internationally benchmarked standards that demonstrate sustainable social, environmental and good agricultural business practice benchmarks set by the EU-based Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). The standard encourages commitment to ethical practices, innovation and promoting equitable trading practices, thus ensuring that certified producers foster sustainable, responsible and safe production of cut flowers and ornamentals.
The Council is in the forefront promoting Kenya as a reliable source of quality cut flowers and ornamentals and the country’s competitiveness in the global floriculture trade. KFC is actively engaged in all major trade negotiations in existing, new and emerging markets and in amplifying Kenya’s image in the international market as the most trusted source of cut flowers and ornamentals.
Currently, Kenya is the third largest producer of cut-flowers and ornamentals in the world and exports to over 60 destinations globally. Floriculture is the fastest growing export sector in the Kenyan economy, providing direct employment for over 200,000 workers.
KFC engages with key actors locally for a favourable business environment for growers and exporters of cut flowers and ornamentals.
Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA)
STANDARD: WIETA Standard Version 4.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing.
The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association T/A WIETA was the first South African social standard, established in 2002, to establish an appropriate social auditing methodology for fruit and wine suppliers in South Africa. WIETA proudly demonstrates how a multi-stakeholder model can successfully promote a world class ethical trade and human rights programme within the wine value chain. Innovative social dialogue engagements, a rigorous capacity building and training programme for both workers and producers, coupled with a participative multi-pronged approach to auditing and remedial approach to ensure sustained corrective actions.