The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Silver Spring, Md., and PAHO Foundation, Atlanta, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate for healthier lives in Latin America. The MoU states that both parties agree to work together to foster innovation leading to improved health and wellness outcomes in the region. The MoU also states that the PAHO Foundation recognizes the unique ability of the CGF Latin America board of directors to speak on behalf of the industry in its relationship with external stakeholders.

This cross-sectoral partnership emphasizes how more can be achieved by working collaboratively. CGF is said to be the only organization that brings consumer goods retailers and manufacturers together globally.

As part of the MoU, the collective belief that:

  • Health and wellness is the foundation of productive and prosperous societies and an important component of the economy.
  • Society benefits from jointly leveraging the capabilities of the private sector in combination with those of government and non-governmental organizations to help people lead healthier lives.
  • Health and wellness is a priority, as is the need to promote innovation, including through public-private partnerships.
  • The parties believe in sharing information and best practices that lead to promoting healthy lifestyles among all sectors of society.
  • Health and wellness in Latin America can be improved by building relationships, improving communications and enhancing cooperation and coordination among public and private sector stakeholders; identifying health and wellness challenges in Latin America; investigating the causes of these challenges in Latin America; identifying, testing and implementing potential solutions to health and wellness challenges in Latin America; and mobilizing the resources needed to accomplish the foregoing.

“We retailers play a vital role in the lives of our shoppers, and food is a central part of life,” says Carlos Mario Giraldo Moreno, president and CEO of Grupo Exito, Columbia, and retailer co-chair of the CGF’s Latin America board. “Good food is one of the cornerstones of health. I am proud to see our industry help shoppers better understand nutrition, so they can make great choices for themselves and their families. In that spirit, we enter this collaborative relationship with PAHO Foundation because they share our values around helping the people of Latin America lead healthier lives. Today, we are beginning an alliance that has far-reaching potential to improve the quality of life in the region. It is an effort that leverages the best capabilities of our industry."

“This is an important day for our industry and our consumers,” adds Daniel Servitje, chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo, Mexico, and manufacturer co-chair of the CGF’s Latin American board. “Today, we have agreed to work collaboratively with PAHO Foundation to promote health and well-being for people throughout Latin America. This agreement reflects our willingness to work for those we serve. We want all people to be healthy, lead active lives and realize their fullest potential. I am proud of this first step in what will be a vitally important, shared journey."

“I am very pleased with this partnership between The Consumer Goods Forum and the PAHO Foundation and with the opportunity to align our efforts around health and wellness in Latin America,” says Enrique Ostalé, president and CEO, Walmart Latin America, India and Africa, and member of the CGF’s Latin America board. “The PAHO Foundation plays a critical role in improving public health across the region, and has excelled in its technical capacity while collaborating with the private sector to drive real results. Helping communities to live healthier lives is at the heart of our mutual work, and both of our organizations are committed to enabling a brighter future for people across the Americas”.

“Signing this MoU marks the dawn of addressing public health in the region by leveraging the power of private and public partnerships,” adds Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, President and CEO of PAHO Foundation.