CLAREMONT, South Africa -- Raymond Ackerman, chairman and chief executive officer of Pick 'N Pay Stores here, has been elected chairman of CIES, The Food Business Forum.
"I am absolutely delighted to be chairman," Ackerman said at a news conference following his election, which was held at the CIES annual Executive Congress in Madrid, in June.
Ackerman said his appointment demonstrates "the globalization of CIES," a process he said he hopes to continue by putting more emphasis on CIES activities in Asia and the Southern Hemisphere.
CIES is an international association of companies involved in the food industry, whose members represent 43 countries, including the United States. About 55% of the member companies are based in Europe.
Ackerman was named a CIES board member in 1983 and he has directed its strategy committee since 1993. His company, Pick 'N Pay, operates 158 stores with annual sales volume of about $2 billion.
Ackerman also has played an important role in the democratic evolution of South Africa. About 55% of Pick 'N Pay's management is black.
"Retailers play a role which is far deeper than just making money in their country," he said at the news conference. "Retailers can play a very important role politically, socially and economically."