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More Effective Systems for Communication

This project is all about interoperability, information and developing effective crisis management systems globally. While the consumer goods industry’s current systems help us respond to product crises, we acknowledge there is room for improvement when it comes to addressing the imperatives of building consumer trust and complying with fast-paced legislation.

This project aims at providing better transparency of product information to consumers and efficient traceability of products within the supply chain to help businesses be more efficient and responsive. We will help the industry overcome this complicated challenge, which no one company can solve themselves. Improving transparency and traceability in the industry’s supply chains is a challenging but essential priority for the entire industry. We identified two potential barriers to implementation.


Technical Barriers
The main technical barrier to this vision is the fact that the different information and traceability systems used by today’s value chain participants are not interoperable. To assess this barrier, we set up the Technology Advisory Council that brings together the leaders of the industry’s more innovative solution providers. They have collaborated to build a basic Applications Programming Interface (API). The API demonstrates that different systems can be made to be interoperable. We plan to build on this demonstration and accelerate a move towards open systems.

Business Process Barriers
These barriers are much more fundamental than the technical barriers. The CGF can help to address them by providing global leadership and effective collaboration across the industry.


Transparency Project One-Pager

Learn more about our Transparency project and see how you can get involved in our OpenAPI pilots.

Why is This Important?

We need to act to secure consumer trust and get ahead of inefficient and costly legislative changes. Specifically, we need to act for three reasons:

  1. consumers’ increasing need for transparency;
  2. developments in legislation; and
  3. outmoded industry supply chain transparency and traceability systems.

Consumer trust is key. Research suggests that consumers want to know more about what is in the products that they buy (eg ingredients, safety) and where they come from (origin, social and environmental impacts). Almost any product attribute can become critical for consumer trust if given sufficient attention in the social and mass media; as evidenced by the horsemeat, Rana Plaza and Thai shrimp scandals. If we can provide this information to consumers, when and how they want it, retailers and manufacturers will be:

  • Better able to build consumer trust and thus drive industry growth.
  • Less likely to suffer reputational damage when issues arise, especially in sensitive supply chains such as meat, fruit & veg, products sold to children, etc.
  • Able to reduce customer enquiry costs and deliver a quicker response to customer questions.
  • Get ahead of the curve by overcoming challenges before governments get involved with new legislations that generally prove more costly and less efficient for the industry.