PARIS, 29th July 2021 — This year is a critical one for The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and its Coalitions of Action, as we work together with key partners and stakeholders to tackle the crucial challenges and drive the urgent changes needed to secure sustainable food systems. As we look ahead to the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and COP26, both taking place at the end of 2021, the CGF is working alongside the United Nations to help pave the way for discussions and implementation. 

At the UNFSS Pre-Summit that just took place on 26th-28th July in Rome, the CGF contributed to the multi-stakeholder discussions with Wai-Chan Chan, Managing Director, participating in three sessions, as part of the Private Sector Guiding Group of the UNFSS and as a Champion of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Champions 12.3 network. 

Co-founded by the CGF and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Workforce Nutrition Alliance supported the organisation of a UNFSS Pre-Summit Affiliated Session on 27th July, under the theme “Access to Nutrition Through the Workplace: Leveraging the Private Sector”. Wai-Chan joined the panel to give insights into the Workforce Nutrition Alliance’s work, and to share the private sector perspective on global malnutrition. You can read more about this session here.

Later in the day, Wai-Chan took part in a Plenary panel, titled “Unleashing the Power of the Plate”, and called on new players across the globe to join the CGF’s Coalitions of Actions to advance the movement on healthier and more sustainable lives. 

Wai-Chan also participated in a Synthesis Plenary session on 28th July, alongside other constituency representatives, who took a moment to reflect on what has emerged from the various sessions and conversations over the three UNFSS Pre-Summit days. Impressions and reflections focused on weaving together the different conversations that took place, highlighting areas of convergence but also areas that require more work, and Wai-Chan advocated for action to take place now, through a collaborative multi stakeholder coalition. 

The CGF supports the five Action Tracks from the UNFSS and is strongly involved with UN Action Tracks 1 (Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all) and 2 (Shift to sustainable consumption patterns). The work from the Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition of Action, headed by the CGF’s Healthier Lives Director, Sharon Bligh, also an official member of Action Track 1, has focused on contextualising the need to transform food systems, mobilising business leaders and stakeholders on the need to accelerate private sector action, and inspiring people to scale up action. Also, as a member of Champions 12.3, the CGF’s Food Waste Coalition, led by Ignacio Gavilan, Sustainability Director, has been working on Global Calls to Action on Action Track 1 for the past five years to encourage government and industry actors to dramatically accelerate efforts to halve food waste and meet the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 by 2030. 

The CGF welcomes all its members to join them and take action towards accelerating food systems transformation. Highlighting the critical need for this amplified industry action, Wai-Chan said: “As we head towards the UN Food Systems Summit and COP 26, we need to ensure our industry builds its positive change agenda on tangible actions aiming to tackle challenges on food waste, food security and sustaining our food systems. When the consumer goods industry aligns commitments on this global challenge, the impact is more powerful and positive change comes faster.”