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More companies engaging on health: CGF report


March 1, 2018
By Bakers Journal

Paris, France – More and more consumer goods companies are engaging with their communities on health topics, according to a report from an international consumer network that advocates for consumer interests and standards.

The Consumer Goods Forum’s annual Health and Wellness Pillar Progress Report highlights a 26 per cent rise last year in participation in health-related programs among its members, the CGF said in a news release.

The report is based on a survey of 83 CGF members – senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and stakeholders in 70 countries – who generate a combined $2.97 trillion US in revenues.

Community engagement has been a major focus for the fast-moving consumer goods sector over the last year, as 85 per cent of companies have formed partnerships with community stakeholders.

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More than 1.6 million employees participated in health and wellness program, and employees forming key groups within local communities and improving health in the workplace are seen by members as key steps towards healthier communities, the report said.

More than half of participating companies said they had been involved in food bank programs, with 180 million meals distributed and in excess of 77,400 tonnes of food donated.

The CGF has promoted community health programs and working with local public health authorities through its “Collaboration for Healthier Lives” initiative. The project, which aims to drive positive action within communities around the world, has encouraged fast-moving consumer goods companies to go out into communities and actively promote health and wellness.

In 2017, such initiatives have taken place in Colombia, Japan and the United States, and more are planned in Costa Rica, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Activities have included distributing educational material in stores, engaging with local educational institutions, promoting the benefits of healthier choices and regular exercise through health fairs and free in-store health checks.

The report also demonstrated that product reformulation has been a continued focus over the last year. Eighty-eight per cent of companies said they had introduced products that had been formulated or reformulated to support healthier diets and lifestyles. There was also a 12 per cent rise in the number of businesses that are cutting salt and sugar in their products.

“Our ambition to empower consumers to lead healthier lives is an important long-term objective that requires sustained effort. We are helping to improve the health of the communities we serve, but we know that there is so much more we can do together,” wrote CGF board co-sponsors Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestlé S.A., and Dick Boer, president and chief executive officer of Ahold Delhaiz, in the foreword to the report.”

The full report is available here.