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  • First, I think we made progress in enabling the Board to get more deeply involved in the work of the Pillars, focusing on areas where they and only they can help accelerate progress. 
  • Second, I detected raised aspirations to ensure that our industry truly becomes part of the solution rather than being seen as part of some of the world’s biggest problems. 
  • Lastly, I was pleased to note a strong desire to open up all our governance processes so that they become more inclusive of our broader membership, rather than just a few. 
The amazing Summit. I was, like everyone, hugely impressed by the quality and breadth of the speakers, which included leading politicians, academics, industry CEOs, internet entrepreneurs and celebrity chefs.  Throughout the conference, there was some tough talk on the tough issues facing the industry. 
As you probably know, the theme of the Summit was “Growth through Change” and I think the general consensus was that we are facing more change as an industry than we have ever done – not just digital and eCommerce, but also the increasing threat to consumer trust and some big changes in industry structure. My worry – and I don’t think I’m the only one – is that, if we are not careful, the stresses caused by this amount of change may threaten the special collaborative relationship between manufacturers and retailers. We will all need to work hard to protect this special relationship, which has been such a key part of the industry’s ability to deliver value to its consumers.
The CGF family.  Lastly, as a newcomer, I was very struck by the real sense through the week that the CGF is much like a family. I enjoyed meeting some of you and felt welcomed into that family. I was struck by the comments that many of you made that the CGF is the right organisation to deal with many of the global challenges and opportunities that the industry now faces. I am grateful for the advice that many of you gave me in how to do that better. Please keep that advice coming – I am listening and we are working on it just as fast as we can!

Peter-Freedman--MD-CGF_transpThis post has been written by:

Peter Freedman
Managing Director
The Consumer Goods Forum