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CIES, the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) and participants in the Global CEO Forum have agreed to “combine their assets and move forward with the founding of a single global consumer goods industry association,” according to an announcement this morning. “The goal is to improve the way the consumer goods industry meets the needs of the world’s ever more knowledgeable and demanding consumers.

Leading the new effort for the next six months will be Pierre Oliver Beckers, CEO of the Delhaize Group and the current chairman of CIES, and AG Lafley, chairman/CEO of Procter & Gamble, and the current chairman of GCI.

“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,” Beckers said in a prepared statement. “I’m particularly pleased that we are showing as an industry that we can move this forward in the present economic context. Ultimately this will bring more value to consumers, more benefits to all stakeholders.”

Lafley added, “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 can and does bring to the economy and to society."

The global platform reportedly will be focused on collaborative, non-competitive issues within the consumer goods industry, including:

• Providing a platform for networking between trading partners and other key stakeholders at both CEO and operational level
• Identifying industry priorities and developing recommended action plans when and where appropriate
• Developing processes to improve the efficiency of the industry globally
• Identifying best practices and supporting their implementation
• Continuing to meet the unique requirements of retailers and manufacturers
• And continuing to develop the industry’s portfolio of programmes to educate and promote best practices.

Next steps will assemble interim governing bodies to lay the groundwork for the launch of the new Association after submitting the project for approval by the GCI Board and CEO Forum participants and the CIES General Assembly.

KC's View:
I’ve long been a fan of CIES and its unique approach to industry education, and so I’m not surprised that it is willing to essentially reinvent itself, for a new era.