Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, have been announced as the new Co-Chairs of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) during its annual Global Summit. Alongside his responsibilities at Ahold Delhaize, Frans will work to strengthen the organization’s long-standing CGF membership as Co-Chair. Over the next two years, the duo will provide leadership to the global network and focus on driving progress among its members on crucial issues such as deforestation, plastics, human rights in the supply chain, and achieving net-zero emissions.
Previously, the Co-Chair roles were held by James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, and Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.
The CGF is a unique international organization that brings together consumer goods retailers and manufacturers. With over 400 member companies across 70 countries, including major names like Carrefour, Danone, Nestlé, Tesco, Unilever, and Walmart, the CGF unites CEOs to work collaboratively on pre-competitive initiatives. These initiatives are organized into eight CEO-led Coalitions, focusing on various key topics such as food waste, global food safety, and the Collaboration for Healthier Lives, which Frans co-leads.
Frans Muller and Dirk Van de Put expressed their commitment to driving impactful action at a large scale across the CGF’s diverse membership. They aim to mobilize members around a set of shared actions to deliver significant positive outcomes. In addition to continuing the momentum of the existing Coalitions, the Co-Chairs have identified key areas of focus:
- Tackling deforestation: The CGF’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action is the world’s leading initiative by consumer goods companies to end commodity-driven deforestation and conversion. The Co-Chairs urge Coalition companies and CGF’s wider membership to implement transformative changes, including time-bound action plans for achieving forest-positive commodity production and transparent reporting on progress.
- Transitioning to a circular economy for plastics: The CGF has collaborated with its members to establish Golden Design Rules, offering practical principles for reducing plastic packaging. The Co-Chairs aim to accelerate the adoption of these principles across the industry.
- Protecting human rights: The CGF aims to make due diligence and responsible recruitment the norm in the consumer goods industry. It will expand its role in helping businesses identify, address, and prevent human rights risks throughout their supply chains, going beyond existing voluntary frameworks.
- Enhancing employee health and well-being: Through the Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition, the CGF empowers individuals worldwide to lead healthier lives. The Co-Chairs will focus on members prioritizing the physical and mental health of their employees, as well as the health and well-being of global customers.
- Supporting decarbonization progress: The CGF, as an official accelerator of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, collaborates with members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout their value chains. The Co-Chairs will work to intensify efforts across the CGF’s membership, encompassing better agricultural production, improved operations, and transparent reporting.
The CGF will regularly update its progress in these areas, including at milestone events such as the Sustainable Retail Summit scheduled for October in Copenhagen.
Frans Muller expressed his honor in assuming the role of Co-Chair, emphasizing the importance of CEOs joining forces to drive faster progress on a global scale. He acknowledged Ahold Delhaize’s leadership in various fields and vowed to bring that experience to the CGF.
Dirk Van de Put highlighted the crucial role of the consumer goods sector in facilitating a greener and healthier future. He expressed his enthusiasm for leading the CGF in supporting members worldwide in adopting