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European Leaders Forum Awards 2014

The April ECR Leaders’ Forum in Brussels celebrated the winners of this year’s Best Activation Award for special excellence on ECR collaboration: Waitrose and Diageo received the award on behalf of ECR UK for a programme on “mentoring across customer-supplier boundaries”: building on the ‘job swap’ model, which won best activation award last year, the ECR UK Board wanted to broaden the number of ways to develop young talent, improve mutual understanding between retailers and manufacturers and strengthen collaboration. It therefore created a mentoring scheme in which 17 ECR Board members and Supply Chain Directors have mentored 17 ‘rising stars’. Retailers mentored manufacturers and vice versa. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with not only the mentees benefiting from senior management insights but also the mentors themselves got much more than expected from the relationship. 

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European Leaders Forum 29 & 30 April 2014

This year’s annual Leaders’ Forum was the last under the co-chairmanship of Thomas Hübner, Carrefour and Jan Zijderveld, Unilever. It took place in Brussels and, not surprisingly, started off with a presentation on the upcoming European elections, by Michiel Van Hulten ofVoteWatch Europe. Predictions are that conservatives will lose a significant number of seats and will be neck-to-neck with the socialists – so no huge shift from right to left but rather from the centre to extremes: anti-EU parties are expected to win over 200 seats, thus pushing traditional parties towards more compromises. However, extreme parties may not influence policy-decisions that much unless they form a joint block, which is unlikely.

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