Latin America is a continent with many opportunities for retail, but it demands a deep understanding of the many different realities and markets, far from a one-size-fits-all approach.

Based on this reality, and aware of the opportunity to present the work done by the CGF to Colombian CEOs, the CGF LatAm team and Grupo Éxito team organised a virtual meeting on 12th March to explore the regional challenges and the CGF’s work in the region. Sponsored by Grupo Éxito – whose CEO, Carlos Mario Giraldo, is the Co-Chair of the CGF LatAm Board – the call brought together an impressive group of 120 attendees, mostly CEOs or C-suite executives from prospective member companies and CGF member companies.

After a brief introduction of the CGF, the Coalitions of Action, the Board and LatAm Board Members, by Wai-Chan Chan, Managing Director, and Erika Rodriguez, Regional Director for Latin America, the following Coalitions were presented:

Sharon Bligh, Director, Healthier Lives, presented the Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition of Action’s purpose, the countries where the CGF has local initiatives and some further examples from the global initiatives. She also provided information on the KPIs and the vision that we have to support vulnerable communities worldwide. A special focus was given to the Se Siente Bien initiative in Colombia, mentioning the success of its omnichannel strategies that have been led by the retailers involved. Jaime Cruz, Commercial Director of Johnson & Johnson Colombia, then presented their global and local actions on health and wellbeing, explaining the connection between their strategy and the Se Siente Bien initiative.

Following that, Ignacio Gavillan, Director, Sustainability at the CGF, introduced the members of both the Plastic Waste Coalition and local working group. He presented the purpose and scope of the Coalition, as well as the Colombian working group’s activities – which are supported by the Ministry of Environment. The local group in Colombia is working to articulate more than 20 different existing groups to generate synergies, information and efficiencies. To support this, Francisco Fuente, CEO of Grupo Bimbo, Colombia, presented their actions on plastics and their global strategy. He also encouraged companies to participate in the CGF group and help develop collaborative strategies.

Carlos Mario Giraldo, CEO of Grupo Éxito, sponsor of this meeting, presented his company’s sustainability actions. He focused on environmental activities, their health and wellness strategy and how they have been supporting vulnerable communities nationwide. All of the speakers, as well as Daniel Servitje, CEO of Grupo Bimbo and fellow Co-Chair of the LatAm Board, invited the companies present to be part of the CGF and share their challenges and expectations.

Feedback shared by the Colombian CEOs was very positive: they recognise that we are working in the right direction and appreciate that, as more companies engage in our local actions, the higher the impact will be.

The CGF and the Latin America office will be happy to welcome new companies to our collective effort in developing relevant local activities in the region.

To learn more about the work done by the CGF in Latin America, click here.