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Coca-Cola chairman: Come together for more sustainable growth

By Rick Pendrous , 02-Jul-2010

Governments across the globe need to work more collaboratively with big business to create a sustainable model for growth and resolve the economic crisis facing the world, top bosses from the food sector have claimed.

Speaking at the 2010 Global Summit of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) in London last month, Coca-Cola chairman Muhtar Kent said business represented a critical part of a "triangle" of influence also made up of governments and civil society (including non-governmental organisations) that needed to address the threats facing humanity.

Kent, who is joint chairman of the CGF with Carrefour chief executive Lars Olofsson, said: "The sooner that happens, the better it is going to be for all of us: we are never going to be able to create a sustainable platform for growth alone."

Olofsson said that while the CGF's role was not to act as a lobby group, it could influence change for the better: "If the politicians would like to open up to the consumer goods industry, we would be there."

Olofsson cited the wealth-creating potential of the fast-moving consumer goods sector, which represents around one-third of the total gross domestic product of countries across the globe.

"We need to grow in order to generate that wealth," said Olofsson. "Growth is a very, very important factor in the crisis."