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Over 1,000 industry leaders from 50 countries gather for annual consumer goods and retailer conference;
Keynote opening address to be given by Laurent Fabius, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
 
PARIS, Wednesday 18th June 2014 – Leaders from the world’s top retail and consumer goods companies have gathered today in Paris for the opening of the premier conference for the consumer goods industry. The three day Global Summit will explore the influences that consumers and technology will play in defining the future, as well as the lessons the industry can learn from governments, thinkers and global companies to achieve growth through change. 
 

The Global Summit, organised by The Consumer Goods Forum (The Forum), will be opened this afternoon by the Co-Chairs of The Forum: Dick Boer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Ahold and Paul Bulcke, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé S.A. They will then be followed on stage by Laurent Fabius, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of France, to deliver the keynote address.

 
The 58th Global Summit of The Consumer Goods Forum will address some of the most vital issues facing retailers and manufacturers globally. It will offer fresh perspectives on: growth, the role of e-commerce, the future of retail and the rise of the ‘Chief Executive Consumer’ to name just a few. Delegates are set to enjoy speeches and presentations from some of the leading names in the international consumer goods industry and beyond including:
  • David Dillon, Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Kroger Company
  • Nikesh Arora, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Google;
  • Erin Hunter, Global Head of CPG Strategy, Facebook;
  • Doug Herrington, Vice President Consumables, Amazon.com; and
  • Fareed Zakaria, Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS and Editor at Large at TIME
They are joined by business heavyweights from French consumer goods businesses, who will provide delegates with a uniquely Gallic perspective on the major issues facing the industry. Speakers include:
  • Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, L’Oréal;
  • Georges Plassat, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Carrefour;
  • Franck Riboud, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Danone; and
  • Serge Papin, Chief Executive Officer, Systeme U
Dick Boer, President & Chief Executive Officer, Royal Ahold and Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum commented: “This year’s Summit promises to be the most informative and engaging yet. Our program includes leading names from the worlds of politics, philosophy and business, all providing a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the consumer goods industry. We believe the Summit provides CEOs and industry leaders with a more comprehensive overview of key trends from our markets than they can get anywhere else.”
 
Paul Bulcke, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé S.A. and Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum commented: “The rise of digital technology, the empowerment of consumers and shoppers and long-term global economic challenges demonstrate that the consumer goods industry is experiencing more major transformations than at any time in the past. This year’s Summit will provide invaluable intelligence and insights to businesses as they lead their organisations in this fast-changing world.”
 
Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum added: “The Forum is truly unique. It is the only global organisation where retailers and consumer goods manufacturers can work together on the strategic and practical issues affecting the industry. Our annual Summit is one of the highlights of the year for our members, and this year emphasises the central importance of the consumer in setting the industry’s priorities. We very much look forward to welcoming many distinguished guests to take part in the process.”
 
1,070 delegates are attending the conference, from a total of 48 countries. Of these, 152 are from the USA; 121 from France; 91 from the UK and 91 from Japan. 
 
— ENDS —
 
NOTES TO EDITORS
 
About The Consumer Goods Forum
The Consumer Goods Forum (“The Forum”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members.  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.  
 
The Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion. Their retailer and manufacturer members directly employ nearly 10 million people with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. The Forum is governed by its Board of Directors, which includes 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs and Chairpersons. 
 
The Forum provides a unique global platform for knowledge and best practice sharing around the following strategic priorities: Sustainability, Product Safety, Health & Wellness, End-to-End Value Chain & Standards, which are central to the advancement of today’s consumer goods industry.
 
The Forum’s mission is, “Bringing together consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in pursuit of business practices for efficiency and positive change across our industry benefiting shoppers, consumers and the world without impeding competition”. 
 
To fulfil this, its members have given The Forum a mandate to develop common positions on key strategic and operational issues affecting the consumer goods business, with a strong focus on non-competitively sensitive process improvement.  
 
The Forum’s success is driven by the active participation of the key players in the sector who together develop and lead the implementation of best practices along the value chain.
With its headquarters in Paris and its regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, The Forum serves its members throughout the world. 
 
For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
 
For more information contact:
Fergus Campbell, GolinHarris International
Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 132 303 / Office: +44 (0) 20 7067 0699 / fcampbell@golinharris.com
 
Lee Green, Senior Communications Manager, The Consumer Goods Forum / l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com