Ahold Delhaize, Mondelēz CEOs to Co-Chair Consumer Goods Forum

Execs to focus on key topics, including deforestation, plastics, human rights in the supply chain and net zero
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
CGF Global Summit
At CGF’s Global Summit in Kyoto, Japan, the new co-chairs spoke about their desire to accelerate a greater combined impact for people and planet by driving action at scale across CGF’s broad membership.

During the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) yearly Global Summit, held June 6-8 in Japan, it was revealed that Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, have been appointed as the CGF's new co-chairs for a two-year term.

The CGF is the only international organization that brings consumer goods retailers and manufacturers together. It unites CEOs from more than 400 member companies across 70 countries. Through their eight CEO-led Coalitions, the members work together pre-competitively to deliver positive change at scale. The eight Coalitions focus on different key topics, including food waste, global food safety and the Collaboration for Healthier Lives, which Muller co-leads.

“CGF is led by CEOs who have the power to rally together with the aim to drive faster progress at scale, and I am honored to be taking up the role of co-chair,” said Muller. “The CGF has a huge international reach, and we must continue to use this influence to strive to make a major difference across the industry and beyond. I am proud to call Ahold Delhaize a frontrunner in many fields, and I’ll bring that experience to the table.” 

Recognizing the diverse nature of the CGF’s membership – including the different pressures, priorities and regional factors facing each company – the new co-chairs are focused on mobilizing members around a set of shared actions that aims to deliver a major positive impact. As well as maintaining the momentum of the eight Coalitions, Muller and Van de Put have identified a series of key topics to intensify CGF’s focus on: 

  • Tackling deforestation. The CGF’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action helps 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 the co-chairs 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 members to outline a series of Golden Design Rules, which provide practical principles for better, and less, plastic packaging. The co-chairs are keen 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 wellbeing culture. The co-chairs will deepen the focus on members prioritizing their own employees’ physical and mental health, alongside the health and wellbeing 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. The co-chairs will help ramp up activity across the CGF’s membership to support the decarbonization progress – including better agricultural production, improved operations, and transparent reporting.   

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Muller said he aims to enable members to drive focused actions faster together. “The challenges facing people and planet are unprecedented, and no company, government or organization can tackle them alone – so our approaches to tackling them must be shared,” he commented.

The CGF will continue to share its progress against the key areas on a regular basis – including at events such as its Sustainable Retail Summit, to be held in Copenhagen in October.

Co-chair roles were previously held by James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., and Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Retailers of the Century and its 10 Most Sustainable Grocers

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