Collective actions leading the way on food waste, forced labour and healthier communities

PARIS, 28th October 2016 – The 2016 Sustainable Retail Summit of The Consumer Goods Forum has come to a close. This year’s first-ever edition, taking place in Paris, delivered on its promise to inspire and inform. 240 delegates from 27 countries left equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement sustainable business practices in their organisations and drive positive change across the industry. The conference brought together thought leaders from business, government and civil society and was a unique education and networking opportunity for all those in attendance.

A focus on industry collaboration and panels on megatrends impacting FMCG

Day 1 of the summit focused on three prominent megatrends in sustainability today; food waste, forced labour and healthier communities. Key subject matter experts engaged in panel discussions on emerging trends in these areas, while also using the platform to share best practices from their organisations. This best practice sharing was central to the success of this year’s conference. The CEOs of Tesco and Sainsbury’s, David Lewis and Mike Coupe, respective, even set competition aside and came together to openly discuss the role of legislation and self-regulation in tackling food waste, what “waste” actually means and emphasised the importance of collective action. The conference was filled with collaborative examples like these. They were quickly followed by other industry heavyweights, including Guido Barilla, Chairman, Barilla and Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation; Sonat Burman-Olsson, President & CEO, COOP; and Emmanuel Faber, CEO, Danone.

Interactive, themed breakout sessions led by world-class industry experts

Day 2 of the conference moved away from broad trends and deep dived into specific and actionable initiatives in each of these three categories. Subject matter experts such as Kevin Hyland, the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Bertrand Swiderski, Head of CSR for Carrefour and Julie Greene, Health & Nutrition Director, Ahold Delhaize, gave key insights on the three topics of this year’s summit. Sessions were interactive and engaging with clear applicable takeaways.

In a breakout session on food waste reduction for example, participants were divided into three groups, with an experienced individual in food waste in each, to discuss how to build a food loss and waste mapping plan in their organisations. Individuals in each group asked specific questions and were met with specific answers by the experts. The CGF is a strong believer of turning commitments into action and these hands-on sessions of day 2 directly supported this vision.

On healthier communities, experts came together in a second breakout to discuss the role of nutrition and reformulation in helping to inspire consumers and employees alike. It was clear that both retailer and manufacturers have a role to play, and that today’s biggest brands understand the role they have in helping to educate and inspire consumers, and that the impact of their role can be enhanced through greater collaboration.

And, on forced labour, the third breakout dived further into the issue and how to help eradicate. A host of key stakeholders, including civil society, private sector and governmental organisations discussed further how forced labour can be addressed today and the important role cross-sector collaborations must play.  The session also looked at the work being done within the CGF to build on its Forced Labour Resolution and focus activities on key areas and geographies.

Overall, participants benefited from the internationally renowned speakers, round table discussions, workshops and networking opportunities provided at the 2016 Sustainable Retail Summit. This success however would have not been possible without the dedicated sponsors, inspirational orators and motivated participants of the event and the CGF would therefore like to thank all those who contributed to the 2016 Sustainable Retail Summit.


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About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.

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