Last Refreshed: 7/15/2024 11:39:20 PM
Brand Story

Get to know the Consumer Goods Forum with Frans Muller and Imke van Gasselt  

August 22, 2023 – On June 7, Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize was appointed Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) alongside Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. Together, the pair will provide leadership to the global network for two years and they will work to prioritize even greater progress among its influential membership – focusing on key topics including deforestation, reducing plastics and food waste, improving human rights in the supply chain and more. 

To gain a better understanding of the CGF and Ahold Delhaize’s involvement, we spoke with our CEO Frans Muller and Ahold Delhaize's Vice President Health & Sustainable Diets, Imke van Gasselt.  

1. What is the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and what role does Ahold Delhaize play in it?  

The CGF is the world’s only international organization that brings consumer goods retailers and manufacturers together. It unites CEOs from more than 400 member companies across 70 countries – including Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Danone, Nestlé, Tesco, Unilever and Walmart. Together, the members reflect the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format.  

Member companies have combined sales of €4.6 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. Ahold Delhaize has been a long-term member of the CGF and our organization works with industry partners on important health and sustainability topics in CGF coalitions of action.   

Through the eight CEO-led Coalitions, members work together pre-competitively to deliver positive change on a large scale. The eight coalitions are categorized under: Product Data, Food Waste, Plastic Waste, Forest Positivity, Human Rights, The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative, The Global Food Safety Initiative And Collaboration For Healthier Lives which is also co-led by Frans Muller. In addition to the eight coalitions, a ninth, Race to Zero, will soon be added to further accelerate net-zero ambitions. 

2. Frans, you have recently been appointed as Co-Chair for the CGF – what does this role entail and what impact do you wish to have in this role?  

It’s an honor to take on this role with Dirk for the next two years. Together, we aim to accelerate a greater combined impact for people and the planet by driving faster action at scale across the CGF’s broad membership by being transparent and acting collaboratively. In addition to maintaining the eight coalitions mentioned above, we have identified a series of critical areas to intensify CGF’s focus. They include:  

  • Tackling deforestation. The CGF’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action is the world’s leading initiative of consumer goods companies taking collective action to help end commodity-driven deforestation and conversion. It offers an evidence-based approach on how to create a deforestation and conversion free supply chain strategy, and we are encouraging transformative changes to be implemented by both Coalition companies and across CGF’s wider membership. This includes companies implementing a time-bound action plan for achieving forest positive commodity production, and transparently reporting on their progress. 
  • Moving to a circular economy for plastics. The CGF has already worked with its members to outline a series of Golden Design Rules, which provide practical principles for better, and less, plastic packaging. Dirk and I are eager to accelerate greater adoption of these principles across the industry.
  • Protecting human rights. As part of its efforts to make due diligence and responsible recruitment the norm in the consumer goods industry, the CGF will increase its role in helping businesses to identify, address, and prevent human rights risks throughout their supply chains. CGF’s work includes helping members to go beyond the scope of many voluntary due diligence frameworks. 
  • Boosting employee health and well-being. The CGF's Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition works to empower people around the world to lead healthier lives – and as part of this, the Coalition is supporting businesses across CGF’s membership to enhance their employee well-being culture. We will deepen the focus on members prioritizing their own employees’ physical and mental health, alongside the health and well-being of global customers. 
  • Supporting faster decarbonization progress. The CGF is already an official accelerator of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, working with members to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions along their value chains. Dirk and I will help ramp up activity across CGF’s membership to support decarbonization progress across the value chain– including better agricultural production, improved operations, and transparent reporting.    
3. Imke, how does Ahold Delhaize's involvement in the CGF support our Health & Sustainability ambitions? 

To help us bring Ahold Delhaize’s strategic growth pillar – Healthier People and Healthier Planet ambition – to life, we have identified six internal enablers of which Partnerships is one (others include Mindsets, Technology & Innovation, Customer Behavior, Investments, Governance and Incentive Structure). Because by collaborating with other retailers and manufacturers via our CGF membership and the coalitions of action, we can share learnings and gather diverse perspectives to develop new solutions which are needed to improve health and sustainability in our communities. 

4. Frans, what impact does the Consumer Goods Forum have on sustainability?   

The challenges facing people and the planet are unprecedented, and no company, government or organization can tackle them alone – so our approaches to tackling them must be shared. I’m looking forward to building on the important work already achieved, by enabling members to drive focused actions faster together.

5. How can people stay up to date with the progress that is made by the CGF? 

We strongly suggest following the Consumer Goods Forum on LinkedIn, or subscribing to the CGF newsletter to learn more about the latest achievements. There are also several resources available on the CGF website. And we will keep you up to date through our Ahold Delhaize channels.  

Last Refreshed: 7/15/2024 11:39:20 PM
Left to right: Isabelle Kumar, Moderator; Frans Muller, CEO Ahold Delhaize; Malina Ngai, CEO AS Watson (Asia & Europe); Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International; Cécile Béliot, CEO Bel Group
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