PARIS, 18th December – The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has today announced its members are working together on actions to support vulnerable communities, part of a coordinated, global response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. The move, involving 45 CGF members from around the world, including some of the world’s biggest retailers and manufacturers, is a response to a CEO-led call to action for members to step up and act locally to help alleviate the health and economic burdens now being experienced by people globally.
The Consumer Goods Forum, through its Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition, has long been involved in collaborative actions to drive adoption of healthier diets, lifestyles and personal care habits. However, this new call is a direct response to the challenges being faced by people due to COVID-19. The group has identified a series of actions to accelerate support for vulnerable communities during this difficult time. These include improving access to healthier foods and personal care products, donating food and personal care products to food banks and community programmes and working with partners who provide essential support locally. Members will also share learnings and best practices via the CGF’s Global Learning Mechanism, so they can learn from each other and then deploy these actions rapidly.
On behalf of CEO members of the CGF Board of Directors, Frans Muller, President & CEO, Ahold Delhaize and Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, said, “As key representatives of the global consumer goods industry, we are united in our efforts to help people struggling with hunger during this unprecedented crisis, especially the elderly and children. We must act together and intensify how our products and services reach these most vulnerable populations and mitigate the negative health and economic burdens that families around the world are experiencing during COVID-19. Through our Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition we have already engaged in local action, but we know there is more work to be done. We need to go further and faster together”.
The Consumer Goods Forum will collect feedback on all the actions taken by its members and develop aggregated reporting on the progress of the initiative towards the end of the first quarter 2021. It is hoped that by joining forces and focusing on local actions, member companies aim to move faster and more efficiently, while empowering the local teams, who are best placed to know what’s needed and how to work with key local partners and authorities, to implement at speed.
The UN states that hundreds of millions of people have either lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or are otherwise struggling. Every day they must make difficult choices about how to use their limited resources to make ends meet. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, the pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction.
The severity of the crisis was also highlighted by this week’s announcement from UNICEF that it has issued an emergency response in the UK for the first time in its history to help feed children impacted by COVID-19. And, globally, as part of its Humanitarian Action for Children appeal, to meet the needs in 155 countries and territories until the end of the year, the UNICEF appeal has been increased to US$1.93 billion.
Wai-Chan Chan, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum, said, “This is a critical time for us. Our members recognise their responsibility to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and we welcome this call from our Board of Directors, and are delighted to see so many members stepping forward and committing to work within their communities, and with local partners, to provide much needed support”.
The members involved in this initiative are:
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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 58 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
For further information, please contact:
The Consumer Goods Forum
Healthier Lives Director
The Consumer Goods Forum