Consumer Goods Industry Leaders Convene to Drive the Industry Forward through Conviction and Collaboration

BERLIN, 24th June 2017The third and final day of The Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit has now ended. Over 1,000 consumer goods industry leaders came together during this high-profile event to discuss the future of their industry and how to adapt to an everchanging consumer landscape. Delegates heard from a range of inspiring speakers from government, business and civil society during the global conference.

Day 3 kicked off with Drogerie-Markt CEO, Christoph Werner, who elaborated on a reoccurring debate for global brands - was the legacy of their business a burden or an asset? Being ready to face today’s challenges in an innovative way is crucial for business while still maintaining a hard-earned legacy that adapts to modern times.

Following Mr Werner was Sunny Jain, Vice President, Consumer Product Goods, Amazon who elaborated on the company’s four key principles of customer-obsession, being innovation-loving, having a long-term focus and their willingness to fail that have propelled and continue to propel the company to new innovative heights.

Matt Brittin, President of EMEA Business & Operations at Google then shared his insights into why all brands, both global and local, must be purpose driven to survive and the importance of speed and genuineness when maintaining a relationship with their customers and communities at large.

The next session was a panel discussion between Mitch Barns, CEO of Nielsen, Grant Reid, CEO of Mars and Per Strömberg, CEO of ICA Gruppen. The panel was moderated by Alex Thomson, Presenter & Chief Correspondent, ITN CHANNEL 4 NEWS. Panellists discussed how sustainability can no longer be an afterthought for companies of all sizes, it must be embedded throughout the entire business model of the company.

Ian Cook, CEO, Colgate-Palmolive, wrapped up the morning session with an overview of The Consumer Goods Forum’s End-to-End Value Chains and Standards Pillar. Mr Cook emphasised the work that is done by the Pillar and why it is so integral to ensuring companies are at the forefront of innovative practices such as smart labelling and modularisation and in its role to drive transparency and build consumer trust.

The afternoon session began with Dan O’Connor from the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University who offered a future prospective of the next age of retailer. Mr O’Connor discussed online marketplaces, their intermediaries and other platforms and how they have completely changed the consumer goods landscape. Mr O’Connor stated that now consumers have six avenues to purchase products. Businesses must have an in-depth knowledge of how these new generation online platforms work to have long-term success. 

Next was a speech from one of the previous Co-Chairs of The Consumer Goods Forum, Gareth Ackerman, CEO, Pick n Pay. Mr Ackerman thanked The Consumer Goods Forum for its work and looked back over the complex transformation the consumer goods industry has taken and is taking. Mr Ackerman wished the best to the two new CGF Co-Chairs: Ian Cook will now serve as the Manufacturer College Chair and his fellow Co-Chair Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board, METRO GROUP, who is now the Chair for the Retailer College.

James Quincey, President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company was the speaker of the next session. Mr Quincey stressed how the current global macro trends are full of challenges and opportunities for businesses. The post-war system is being challenged on the political, economic, social and environmental fronts and society must be ready to face these changes. Mr. Quincey then introduced the event’s final speaker, Condoleezza Rice.

The day and conference came to a captivating end with the 66th United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Ms Rice offered her expert perspective on the future of the international political economy. The Secretary of State first gave an overview of the post-second world war geopolitical system, one where the concepts of free markets and free peoples reigned and lead to prosperity. She then moved to current modern-day societies and the challenges such as populism and isolationism that threaten global stability which we all face. Ms Rice emphasised that globalisation is not a policy, it is a fact and we must be careful to embrace this fact and make it beneficial for the greater good of all.

Throughout all three days, participants benefited from the internationally renowned speakers and prime networking opportunities. This success of this year’s summit, however, would have not been possible without the dedicated sponsors and motivated participants of the event and the CGF would therefore like to thank all those who contributed to the 2017 Global Summit in Berlin.

In 2018, the Global Summit heads to Singapore and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

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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 more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

Lee Green
Director, Communications
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Helen Blair
Manager, Corporate
GOLIN
HBlair@golin.com

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