The Consumer Goods Industry

The Consumer Goods Industry is characterised by a growing number of consumer and trade associations that have taken significant actions to ensure a sustainable supply from the environmental and social points of view, and to promote healthy lifestyles.

The sustainability of the agri-food system is a global challenge that has achieved unprecedented urgency levels.

This is the result of a knowledge gained over time thanks to analyses, research and theoretical elaborations that have led to the fundamental awareness that producers and retailers play a key role in improving the wellbeing of people worldwide. 

Among these, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) plays an important role favouring the dialogue and exchange between network members and focussing its activity on four interest areas:

  • ensuring food quality;
  • ensuring food safety;
  • supporting end consumers in adopting a healthy lifestyle;
  • improving the quality of the whole supply chain from field to table. 

In addition to the above mentioned topics, there is another cross element that includes sharing knowledge and good practices available on the market.

The work within our individual areas of interest is guided by Resolutions and Commitments that have been approved by our Board of Directors, which is the reference point for companies that want to take positive actions. Barilla has been a member of CGF since it was set up and it has always pro-actively supported its activity. 

The Group has relations and a constant dialogue with the different sector associations, including:

AIDEPI – Associazione delle Industrie del Dolce e della Pasta Italiane
AIIPA – Associazione italiana Industrie Prodotti Alimentari
AIM – European Brands Association
CAOBISCO – Chocolate, Biscuits and Confectionery of Europe
ECR – Efficient Consumer Response
IBC – Industrie beni consumo
IPO – International Pasta Organization
ITALMOPA – Associazione Mugnai d’Italia

Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum is an international network of consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in pursuit of business practices for efficiency and positive change across our industry benefiting not only consumers, but also the international community.

The network in particular has the purpose of:

  • stimulating the debate between members in order to identify areas of action;
  • favouring the implementation of global practices without impeding competition;
  • sharing the industry’s best practices;
  • engaging stakeholders and regional associations to represent their interests.

It gathers about 400 retailers, manufacturers and service providers, as well as other stakeholders from 70 countries with combined sales of 3.5 trillion Euro and employing 10 million people plus another 90 million considering the entire supply chain.

The network is run by a unique Board of Directors, consisting of the global CEOs of 52 manufacturers and retailers, including the Barilla Chairman, Guido Barilla.


  • Deforestation – Deforestation continues growing at an alarming speed all over the world, irreversibly damaging certain areas.  The Consumer Goods Forum has pledged to mobilise the necessary resources to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. Action plans at a network and company level shall be implemented to ensure the achievement of the objective with a focus on sourcing critical commodities like palm oil, soya, beef, paper and cardboard.
  • Refrigeration #1 and #2 – Being aware of the impact of different substances on the Planet, the CGF has taken action to phase-out HFC refrigerants (hydrofluorocarbons) as of 2015 and replace them with natural refrigerant alternatives, in line with the legislative restrictions in some markets. This measure is necessary to limit the increase in the global average temperature, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21).
  • Food Waste – Food waste is a major social, environmental and economic challenge. It undermines food security, contributes to climate change, consumes natural resources and costs money.  
    The Resolution’s aim is to contribute to the reduction of food waste, halving it within our own retail and manufacturing operations by 2025.


Forced Labour – Forced labour and modern slavery are still a broad social problem. The purpose of the Resolution is to promote decent working conditions and respect of human rights in line with the principles defined internationally, including the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In particular based on the following principles:

  • every worker should enjoy freedom of movement;
  • commissions and costs associated to recruitment and hiring should be borne by the employer and not by the employee;
  • workers should work freely, knowing the terms and conditions of their work in advance, and should be paid on a regular basis.


The four key points – The CGF has defined a five-year plan to make the world population aware of their choices of products and lifestyles. The plan sets four goals to be achieved:

  • make company policies on nutrition and product formulation public (by 2016);
  • implement employee health and wellness programmes (by 2016);
  • implement labelling programmes to help consumers make informed choices (by 2018);
  • stop marketing communication to children under 12 for food and beverage products that do not fulfil specific nutrition criteria (by 2018).


Consumer Engagement Principles – Definition of principles and practices that promote an environment of trust between the consumer and business, in particular:

  • offer clear communication;
  • inform consumers about the benefits that the use of their personal information provides to businesses and consumers;
  • enable consumers to choose whether and how their personal information is used;
  • listen and respond to consumer feedback about the use of their personal data;
  • ensure maximum protection of personal information;
  • preserve information integrity through proper disclosure of commercial interests in social media practices.


Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) – Project that gathers food safety experts with the purpose of identifying the best food safety management practices throughout the supply chain and encouraging the adoption of a suitable audit and certification system.
Today, GFSI partners carry out audits and certify more than 100,000 operations and services in 160 countries.