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IGD Convention: Sustainability The Key Challenge

Published on Oct 14 2010 3:43 PM in Retail

IGD Convention: Sustainability The Key Challenge

The themes of growth and sustainability were the central themes at the IGD convention in London on Tuesday as big hitters from major retailers and manufacturers challenged the industry to be more dynamic and innovative. Joanne Denney-Finch, the IGD’s chief executive, set the tone of the day by declaring the grocery industry is firmly at the heart of the global need for change.

"Our planet is reaching critical limits,” she said. “Our economy is undergoing major surgery. And our technology is leaping ahead. These are momentous times. And food – and consumer goods – are at the very heart of it.

“We're the biggest industry by far, employing about a third of the world's population. We draw on a big share of global resources. We shape the landscape and affect every species on the planet. Diet is central to public health, vitality, and culture. So we can surely claim to be the world's most important industry.

“But we're dealing with some very big challenges. We're striving to build a more sustainable food system. We face a fragile economy, a mature market and an ageing population. Our shoppers are bettering informed and more demanding.

“And competition for resources is forcing up costs. So these are testing times and many companies find it hard to see a route to further growth. We need new solutions and, as always, consumers hold the key.” (14 Oct)

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