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The Consumer Goods Forum key contributor to event that brought together leaders in business, international institutions, academia, faiths, the media and civil society

Roundtable had strong endorsement from the Vatican, including an audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis

PARIS, 19th January 2017 – On 13th and 14th January, Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), participated in the 2017 Rome Roundtable to discuss a variety of topics related to sustainable and inclusive globalisation, including the eradication of forced labour. The event brought together roughly 70 high-profile leaders from business, civil society, faith organisations and academia and included an audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis. The Roundtable was an excellent opportunity to engage with prominent stakeholders and further emphasised the importance of collective collaboration when addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems. It also highlighted how momentum from industry-defining public commitments, like the CGF’s Forced Labour Resolution, can help lead to necessary changes. 

The 2017 Rome Roundtable, convened by The Global Foundation, had the objective of discussing how to restore confidence, trust and optimism in the global economy through cooperative globalisation, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. The event built on the 2016 Rome Roundtable, which was similarly focused on mobilising the global economy for more inclusive and sustainable growth and saw the Vatican commit to slavery-proofing its own supply chains. This year’s edition however took the discussion a step further with its special focus on implementation.

In this context, Peter Freedman elaborated on the CGF’s work on forced labour, including the first-ever industry commitment on forced labour eradication and the recently announced Priority Industry Principles that, when applied on a broad scale, could help stop the main cases that lead to forced labour. The open and participatory dialogue reiterated the ongoing need for collaboration between businesses, NGOs, governments and faith institutions to ensure that globalisation is beneficial for the collective global community and not only a select few – a reality for which Pope Francis has continuously championed.

During the Roundtable’s audience with Pope Francis, Steve Howard, Secretary General of the Global Foundation cited the work on forced labour by the members of The Consumer Goods Forum, highlighting its focus on implementation, including the planned pilots in South East Asia. During his Address to the Roundtable, the Pope emphasised his support for a positive form of globalisation, one involving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. He stressed the importance of partnerships and cooperation to achieve this goal.

The Consumer Goods Forum is committed to collaborative engagement amongst key stakeholders to drive positive change and welcomes cross-sectoral collaborative initiatives such as the Rome Roundtable. Cooperation between faith institutions, governments and business are a crucial piece of the puzzle and the CGF hopes to see international bodies like the G20 take a strong role in leading governmental action on efforts against forced labour. 

Peter Freedman, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum said, “The Consumer Goods Forum is committed to positive stakeholder engagement to find collective solutions to collective problems. The Rome Roundtable was an excellent opportunity to engage on behalf of our members with a variety of actors who share the CGF’s mission to drive positive change. We thank the Global Foundation for convening this meeting and His Holiness for his encouragement. We look forward to collaborating with all relevant stakeholders as we strive to reach a more sustainable society for the good of the planet and its people”.


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 54 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.

For more information, please visit: https://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.


About The Global Foundation

The Global Foundation is a trust global network and platform with a unique power, which enables people from many walks of life to meet and work together in addressing some of the greatest global challenges of our time. It is a not-for-profit, membership organisation, open to all and intentionally diverse in its supporter base. It relies entirely on its member and sponsor contributions, that come from many companies, universities, institutions, philanthropic and individual sources.

It is fully independent from governments and yet works closely with governments of the day and international institutions and organisations, in a non-partisan manner.


For further information, please contact:

Lee Green

Senior Manager, Communications
The Consumer Goods Forum
Camilla Guiguer
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum