MADRID, Spain -- CIES, The Food Business Forum, elected Raymond Ackerman to a two-year term as chairman at the annual Executive Congress here last week.
Ackerman is chairman and chief executive officer of Pick 'n Pay Stores, Claremont, South Africa. He succeeds Fritz Ahlqvist, a member of the managing board of Ahold, based in the Netherlands.
"I am absolutely delighted to be chairman," Ackerman said at a news conference following the election. He said his appointment demonstrates "the globalization of CIES," a process he said he will continue by putting more emphasis on CIES activities in Asia and the southern hemisphere.
CIES is an international association of companies involved in the food industry, with member companies representing 43 countries, including the United States. About 55% of the member companies are based in Europe.
Ackerman also has played an important role in the democratic evolution of South Africa. About 55% of Pick 'n Pay's management is black.
"Retailers play a role that is far deeper than just making money in their country," he said at the news conference. "Retailers can play a very important role politically, socially and economically."