By Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick n Pay Stores Limited, ex-Co-Chair of The Consumer Goods Forum
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we come to the end of our 2017 CGF Global Summit I have a few concluding remarks.
We have heard some captivating and valuable lessons this week from our speakers, some of which I will briefly touch on. We were reminded of the importance of solid Values in business. Doing good business is essential for success and longevity and the business case for investing in environmental and social sustainability is proven. 50 years ago my father Raymond Ackerman founded Pick n Pay which has 3 values at its core
- Doing good is good business
- Business efficiency
All of which are today as revelant as they were back then, as we have heard in the last 3 days.
- The necessity to be accountable has been emphasized time and again at the Summit. We must take ownership of our actions and learn from our failures in order to strengthen and grow our organizations.
- Adaptability is key. In an age of ever-advancing technology and competition, uncertain politics and inconsistent global economics, we need to constantly embrace change in order to stay relevant.
- One must never lose sight of what our customers want and need and care about. They are telling us and we should listen. We have access to data and feedback like never before. We have endless opportunities for consumer engagement and co-creation, and our increasingly empowered consumers want to and have a right to be involved and feel relevant.
Thank you to our speakers and pall the contributors for delivering the insightful and thought provoking content to us this week. As Denise and I step down from the co-chair role, I reflect on the CGFs main achievements. To name but a few:
- We passed a refrigeration resolution to tackle climate change and the implementation of this will see global warming positively impacted.
- We are combatting forced labour in many parts of the world
- Our resolutions on the environment are reducing deforestation through global projects on soy, palm oil and beef production.
- The CGF continues to address health and wellness issues across the globe through local initiatives and have launched many innovative and successful pilots in Latin America, the US and soon in the UK.
We are focusing energy on more core objectives, such as:
• Managing and mitigating Food Waste
• Investing in both gender and racial diversity in the industry
• Taking action on the growing issue of counterfeit goods
• And including non-food product safety in our work over and above the good work done by the GFSI over many years
Through the CGF Pillars and through the work of you, our members, the consumer goods industry is showing leadership in so many pivotal areas.
As an industry we remain committed to being competitive and constantly finding better ways of ethically and responsibly running our businesses for the benefit of consumers.
To my fellow co-chair Denise, thank you for your support, input and partnership over the past two years.
To the CGF Board and members, it has been fulfilling for us all to serve the industry and the consumer.
Thank you for your commitment to making the organization a success and thank you for placing your trust is Denise and me.
Thank you to the Pillars for the exceptional work you have done and continue to do every year. It is through your hard work that the CGF is able to implement our plans and commitments.
Thanks to Peter Freedman and his entire team for the tireless work you put into making the CGF a well-run and solid organization. It is most appreciated.
And finally, thank you to the Summit Committee and Task Force, our valued sponsors, suppliers and partners; and to Alex Thompson and all the speakers that have worked hard to make this event a success.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you found the summit valuable and are motivated to implement new ideas and learnings from the Summit into your own organizations. As Denise Morrison, my fellow co-chair expressed earlier this week, the time has come for us to hand over the baton of the CGF co-chair responsibility to our successors, Olaf Koch of Metro and Ian Cook of Colgate-Palmolive.
On behalf of Denise and the full CGF board, we welcome Olaf and Ian into their new roles, and thank them for dedicating their time and energy into leading the organization.
We wish them both everything of the best for the next challenging 2 years. I hope to see you all at the next CGF summit which will be held on 12 to 15 June 2018 in Singapore.
From experience, this evening’s gala dinner with L’Oreal will be wonderful.
Thank you Jean Paul Agon and L’Oreal in advance.
Travel home safely.
I’d now like to invite James Quincey onto the stage to introduce our final speaker.