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PARIS, Tuesday 21st April, 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (the “CGF”) has appointed two new directors, strengthening its senior management team. Véronique Discours-Buhot joins as Director, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) while Ignacio Gavilan has arrived as Director, Sustainability. In their new roles, Véronique and Ignacio will work with the wider Management Committee to define the strategic direction of the CGF, gather the necessary resources, and drive delivery of the strategy on behalf of its 400 members and in support of greater consumer trust and transparency.

The CGF holds a unique position in the industry as the only organisation which represents both manufacturers and retailers globally, with 50 of the world’s top CEOs on the Board. The organisation focuses on areas of non-competition, and engages in activities which improve the industry through positive and actionable plans.

As Director, GFSI, Veronique Discours-Buhot will be instrumental in driving forward the CGF’s Global Food Safety Initiative to increase the level of food safety worldwide and to reduce the duplication of audits. Reporting to Managing Director Peter Freedman, Veronique is tasked with ensuring high quality and efficient leadership to the GFSI. Key responsibilities include bringing a strategic vision to the Initiative, helping to set and manage the GFSI Board agenda, steering Technical Working Groups, and overseeing collaborations with third-party global organisations. Over time, Veronique is expected to expand the GFSI so that it can even better deliver on its mission: .ensure safe food is accessible to everyone.

Véronique joins the CGF from VDB Consulting, a consumer goods consultancy firm which she founded and where she was responsible for advising on areas as diverse as crisis management, regulations and CSR. Prior to that, Veronique worked in senior positions for companies including the Carrefour Group and Promodes Group. Véronique brings to bear nearly 30 years’ experience in the FMCG, luxury goods industry and the public sector to her role at the CGF.

In his role as Director, Sustainability, Ignacio Gavilan leads the CGF’s Sustainability team that aims to position the consumer goods industry as a leader in protecting against climate change and reducing waste. Ignacio is responsible for ensuring high quality, efficient strategic leadership and administrative support to the Climate Change and Waste agenda. In his role, Ignacio will lead the CGF Sustainability Steering Committee and Working Groups as well as engaging with members and external stakeholders to drive forward the CGF’s sustainability agenda.

Ignacio brings to the CGF more than 15 years’ experience in advising business on the practical, strategic, and commercial opportunities and risks of sustainability. Prior to his current role, Ignacio worked as Founder & Principal Consultant at Accipiter, a sustainability advisory service where he helped SMEs working in international markets to create strategic sustainability roadmaps. Past experience also includes senior roles at Anglo American, BP and McDonald’s.

Peter Freedman, Managing Director at the CGF, commented: “Our two new hires will provide the CGF board with additional depth, experience and expertise. The Food Safety and Sustainability segments are particularly important to the long term interests of the consumer goods industry and comprise some of the issues that matter most to consumers. It is therefore critical that we have in place the right people to manage our initiatives in these areas. Véronique and Ignacio will provide just that leadership and I look forward to working with them in what will be an exciting time ahead for the consumer goods industry.”

As well as having dedicated sustainability and food safety teams, the CGF also focuses on four additional areas – health and wellness; social and environmental compliance; end-to-end value chain and standards; and knowledge and best-practice sharing.


The Consumer Goods Forum (“the CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.

The CGF’s mission is, “Bringing together consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in pursuit of business practices for efficiency and positive change across our industry benefiting shoppers, consumers and the world without impeding competition”. It provides a unique global platform for the development of global industry processes and standards as well as sharing best practices. Its activities are organised around the following strategic priorities: Sustainability, Product Safety, Health & Wellness, and End-to-End Value Chain & Standards, each of which is central to better serving consumers.

The CGF’s success is driven by the active participation of its members who together develop and lead the implementation of best practices along the value chain. With its headquarters in Paris and its regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, the CGF serves its members throughout the world.

For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

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