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The consumer goods forum assists retailers and manufacturers in implementing commitment to stop marketing unhealthy food to children

Around 42 million children under the age of five worldwide are overweight or obese – and the vast majority live in developing countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). In response to global concerns about the growing problem of childhood obesity.

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), together with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), this week published a new tool to help its 400 member companies – including major South African retailers – meet agreed commitments to stop marketing communications to children.
The CGF’s Marketing Communications to Children Guide is aimed at assisting The CGF’s global membership – including the 12 000-member Consumer Goods Council of South Africa – to stop marketing food and beverage products that don’t fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on national and international dietary guidelines to children under 12 by 2018.
In South Africa, a code for marketing to children has been in force since 2008, following engagement between the members of the Consumer Goods Council and the National Department of Health, and its adoption by the South African Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
A total of 23 companies have signed the South African Marketing to Children Pledge, publicly committing to marketing communications to children 12 years old only to promote healthy dietary choices and healthy lifestyles.
Says Gareth Ackerman, chairman of Pick n Pay Stores, one of the signatories to the pledge, and  co-chair of The Consumer Goods Forum: “Children’s diets are influenced by many factors, not least of which are socio-economic circumstances, culture and education. Marketing plays a role and we realise that as retailers, we can make a real contribution to children’s nutrition by encouraging exposure to foods compatible with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Ackerman, who is also co-chair of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, adds: “We welcome the publication of The CGF’s Marketing Communications to Children Guide, which will be an important tool to assist member companies better understand their commitments and how best to implement them according to guidelines. We believe responsible marketing can play an important role in addressing childhood obesity.
”Obesity and diabetes are critical health issues in South Africa. What is required is a concerted effort by government in partnership with the private sector to promote healthy eating and proper nutrition.”
The Consumer Goods Forum will be hosting scores of CEOs from the world’s most influential consumer and retail brands in Cape Town next month. For its first edition on African soil, The CGF Global Summit is expected to draw more than 800 delegates from over 365 companies from 40 countries and will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 to 17 June 2016.
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Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit convenes at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15th-17th June. Manufacturers, service providers and retailers within the consumer goods industry can register online at to attend.

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