PARIS — A new association of global CPG companies is expected to be in place before the end of the year, following a vote in June of the general membership of CIES — The Food Business Forum.
Formation of the group has already been approved by the boards of CIES here and the Global Commerce Initiative, Cologne, Germany, and by participants in the Global CEO Forum.
The goal of the new group, which does not yet have a name, will be to improve the way the consumer goods industry meets the needs of consumers, Alan McClay, chief executive officer of CIES, said.
As SN reported last May, the new association will seek to suggest standards and best practices for the industry globally, including companies and trade associations in North America.
The actual vote is scheduled for June 18, during a general assembly of the CIES World Food Business Summit to be held in New York.
Actually, the proposal will require two votes under the CIES constitution, McClay explained: one involving retail members only, who will be asked if they agree to merge into a new association with manufacturers; and a follow-up vote to approve the statutes of the new association and to elect a permanent board of directors.
The new association will be based here, at CIES' existing offices, McClay said. The GCI headquarters in Cologne will become a separate office of the association, “though what role that office will play has not yet been determined,” he added.
In a press release last week, A.G. Lafley, chairman, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, who is co-chairman of GCI and the 2008 Global CEO Forum, said, “With this new industry body we shall be able to address non-competitive issues together so that shoppers benefit even more from the wide assortment and the outstanding everyday value this industry brings to the economy and to society.”
His remarks were echoed by Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and CEO of Delhaize Group, Brussels, and chairman of CIES. “This represents a step-change in the way our industry's trading partners will be equipped to meet the complex challenges of a global value chain. Ultimately this will bring more value to consumers and more benefits to all stakeholders.”
Until CIES members vote, Beckers and Lafley will co-chair an interim governing body to lay the groundwork to launch the new association, CIES said.
CIES — The Food Business Forum is a trade association composed of approximately 400 retail and manufacturing companies; GCI is a group of manufacturers and retailers concerned with implementing global technology standards and best practices; and the Global CEO Forum is a group of top retail, manufacturing and trade association executives.