Why are you and Ahold engaged in co-leading the Health & Wellness Pillar?


During our recent Health & Wellness Steering Committee meeting in New York, our team had the pleasure of welcoming Emma Coles (Royal Ahold) as the new retailer Co-Chair of the Committee. Emma will be working alongside her manufacturing Co-Chair, Laurent Chastain (Nestlé), and the rest of the Committee to help drive implementation of the Pillar’s five-year plan. 
We’re very fortunate to have Emma on board, helping to lead our work, but rather than simply have me talk about Emma, I thought it best if we have Emma provide her own thoughts on the task at hand. And so, I asked her five simple questions on what see wants to acheive as Co-Chair, the impact she can have and how others can get involved. Thanks Emma!

Because we believe that the consumer goods industry, and in particular food retailers and manufacturers, have an important role to play on health
What do you want to achieve?
I want to help retailers and manufacturers show leadership on the issue of health. Our understanding of the link between lifestyle, and in particular food and health, is increasing every day.  We have the opportunity to use that knowledge and our skills and resources to help customers take steps towards healthier diets and lifestyles.
How would you encourage others to get involved?
There are many ways to get involved but the best place to start is to get involved in one of our working groups. We have working groups for each of our commitments related to advertising to children, product reformulation, product labelling and employee health and well-being and for our efforts to support community health programmess. Our working groups provide the opportunity to learn from other companies and to share your efforts to inspire others.
Do you think we can have positive impact? 
Absolutely.  Non-communicable diseases are now the leading cause of death and although we know that action is required on many fronts to have a positive impact I strongly believe that retailers and manufacturers can play a leading role in shifting customers to healthier habits.
What are your priorities?
Ensuring we meet our 2016 and 2018 commitments and driving real engagement in community programmes. These need retailers and manufacturers that listen to community needs and then take action to improve community health.

CGF-Sharon-Bligh-BWThis post was written and contributed by:

Sharon Bligh
Director, Health & Wellness
The Consumer Goods Forum