PARIS, — The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)
, the global body pursuing purpose and positive change across the consumer goods industry, today announced that two new co-chairs have been elected to its board of directors: Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, and James Quincey, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola. The announcement was made after the board of directors meeting held during this year’s Global Summit, which is being held virtually for the first time.
The pair will lead the CGF board for two years and replace outgoing co-chairs Özgür Tort, CEO of Migros Ticaret, and Emmanuel Faber, former chairman and CEO of Danone. In addition, Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, were appointed vice co-chairs.
Zhang and Quincey take over the co-chair roles following a challenging period brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing need for companies to show consumers, employees and investors that they are proactively addressing today’s sustainability, health and safety challenges, CGF said. The CGF has also gone through its own strategic shifts with the creation of eight Coalitions of Action. While the organization said these have now been successfully launched, Zhang and Quincey will have a leadership role to play in ensuring CGF members accelerate actions on the ground in regions all over the world.
“I am honored to join the board of CGF, a unique organization that works to protect the planet and its people," Quincey said. "Özgür and Emmanuel have done a tremendous job, and I look forward to building upon their work to drive sustainable solutions to the challenges we face as an industry. Together with Daniel and the CGF Coalitions of Action, we will be working against an ambitious agenda to build a better shared future for all.”
“I am honored to be the first-ever co-chair of the CGF Board from a multinational company born in China, and I want to thank my peers on the board for their vote of confidence," Zhang said. "Under Özgür’s and Emmanuel’s strong leadership, CGF has engaged a greater array of stakeholders and placed greater emphasis on implementation support. Together with James, I look forward to building on this foundation by driving broader representation and inclusivity across our CGF membership, as we work to transform the industry to address challenges and capture opportunities of the future."
Under the leadership of Özgür and Emmanuel over the last two years, highlights from the CGF include:
- Launching eight Coalitions of Action: Forest Positive, Plastic Waste, Food Waste, Collaboration for Healthier Lives, Product Data, Human Rights — Working to End Forced Labor, Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
- Issuing a Call to Action for businesses to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic and published a set of case studies highlighted actions taken.
- Calling on the United Nations to do more to support seafarers negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- Publishing a series of reports analyzing the successes of its local CHL initiatives, including those in the UK, Turkey, France, Japan and China.
- Publishing a set of commodity roadmaps — palm oil, soy and paper, pulp and fiber-based packaging — to increase transparency around how CGF members will help build a forest-positive future, and published the first-ever report from the Forest Positive Coalition, Taking Root.
- Launching the GFSI Race to the Top Framework, which proposes a collaborative enhancement of the oversight of the GFSI ecosystem with the aim of improving trust, transparency and confidence in GFSI-recognized certification and audit outcomes.
- Holding the first-ever virtual editions of the GFSI Conference and Sustainable Retail Summit and brought leaders together for the CEO-led Virtual Knowledge Series to share experiences on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.
- Publishing the first two Golden Design Rules in an effort to tackle plastic pollution and help advance a world where no plastic waste ends up in nature. Work is now focused on the remaining seven.
- Increasing its emphasis on tackling industry issues on diversity and inclusion, setting the ambition to create a world where the workplace ensures equal opportunity and inclusion for all.
Reflecting on his time as co-chair, Özgür Tort, CEO of Migros Ticaret, said, “Sustainability and efficiency have gained even greater importance and relevance for us all during the pandemic. In a period of uncertainty, we provided service without limits. As a new era dawned, we were proactive in reinterpreting our practices to make them relevant in the new reality. Within the CGF, we set up eight separate Coalitions of Action, each with its own mission and a remit to create a sustainable world and bring about positive change. Each Coalition brings together corporate leaders from various sectors with the aim of focusing on new solutions for the future of our planet. By doing this, CGF has created a much more inclusive and diversified structure. This flexible structure will inspire new initiatives all around the world.”
Wai-Chan Chan, managing director, the Consumer Goods Forum, said, “Özgür and Emmanuel have done a fabulous job during very challenging times. Under their stewardship, the CGF has re-focused to ensure positive impacts on the ground happen quicker and more effectively and we are now starting to see the benefits of this work. However, we are only just getting started and I look forward to now working more closely with James and Daniel as we get to driving positive change faster than ever, and ensure our industry has a positive voice built on tangible actions as we head towards the U.N. Food Systems Summit and COP 26. Despite our successes, we know there is still a lot more we can do."