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What the Consumer Goods Forum Achieved in 2022

Feb. 27, 2023
Processors and retailers around the globe made progress on deforestation, plastic waste and forced labor.

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), parent of the Global Food Safety Initiative, in January published its annual report, “Collaborating for Action - 2022 Review.” The report highlights the achievements both manufacturers and retailers globally made last year, including progress on tackling deforestation, global plastic waste and working to end forced labor.

Created together with KPMG, the annual report reviewed the collective work across the CGF’s eight Coalitions of Action: Food Waste, Forest Positive, Global Food Safety Initiative, Collaboration for Healthier Lives, Human Rights-Working to End Forced Labor, Plastic Waste, Product Data and the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative. All were measured against 2021’s stated goals, and progress was reported.

The report underlines how ongoing global crises such as supply chain disruption, conflict and the energy crisis have strengthened the need for a collective response. The complexity and urgency of these challenges brings collaboration to the fore. The CGF acts as a convener of senior leaders from the world’s most influential manufacturers and retailers to learn from each other on a pre-competitive basis and to work together on major industry challenges.

Developments achieved in 2022 include:

  • The Plastic Waste Coalition reported 97% of its 40 members have integrated the golden design rules on packaging into their decision-making processes. The group also advocated for extended producer responsibility through a published paper on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs for packaging. In 2023 the forum aims to play a significant role in shaping the new United Nations plastics treaty.
  • The Forest Positive Coalition released its second annual report at New York Climate Week in September, which illustrates the coalition's progress in removing deforestation, forest degradation and land conversion from key commodity supply chains. The report also includes updates on members' collective reporting against their ambitious performance metrics, which include the percentage of supplies from regions at high-risk/priority for deforestation and the performance of upstream suppliers against the coalition’s Forest Positive Approach.
  • The Human Rights Coalition-Working to End Forced Labor (HRC) accelerated efforts to make due diligence and responsible recruitment the norm in the consumer goods industry. Coalition members continued to implement and improve human rights due diligence systems in their own global operations; launched the HRC's People Positive Palm Project in Kuala Lumpur to address forced labor risks in the Malaysian palm oil sector; and worked with industry partners to release guidance on how companies can repay worker-paid recruitment fees and uphold the CGF Priority Industry Principles.
  • Collaboration for Healthier Lives continued its hyper-local strategy in 2022 reaching 255 million people. Highlights included winning the prestigious Sirius Sustainable Collaboration prize in France and putting a key focus on reaching the underserved and less affluent populations, in particular in the US. The coalition conducted a strategy refresh embedding sustainability in its core mission with healthier and more sustainable diets engaging over 600 CGF professionals in its learning series.
  • In 2022, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) forged ahead with its program of modernization and reform -- the Race to the Top Framework (RTTT) -- designed to improve trust and confidence in benchmarking of third-party food safety certification programs and oversight of their performance; building food safety capability in subject matter experts and building partnerships with food safety regulators to support regulation. 150,000 certificates were issued against GFSI-recognized programs. The GFSI conducted a yearlong consultation on its new capability building framework that will be piloted in 2023 and hosted the first face-to-face food safety conference in Barcelona since before the pandemic.
  • Four new schemes have applied to be benchmarked by the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI). The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard successfully completed the benchmarking process and achieved SSCI Recognition, the first to do so under the SSCI's At-Sea Operations scope. The coalition also launched work to develop criteria for an environmental benchmark.
  • The Product Data Coalition focused on encouraging widespread adoption of coalition initiatives. For example, the Verified by GS1 Registry is moving toward mass adoption with 237 million GTINs uploaded to the database.
  • Members of the Food Waste Coalition continued to report using the harmonized template on the Food Waste Atlas platform, helping to demonstrate a good reporting standard and promote greater transparency to the wider CGF member companies. The coalition continues to serve as a platform for its members to share learnings and best practices for taking effective actions to reduce food waste in their own operations, as well as with their suppliers and consumers.

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