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CMS Consumer Products Conference 2019

Basel, Switzerland

Past event
07 November 2019, 09:00 - 17:30 UTC +01:00
The consumer product sector is facing an increasing number of disrupting transformations, due to changing consumer demographics, shifts in purchasing habits, fast-moving technologies and emerging channels, as well as economic uncertainty. What are the hot topics and inherent challenges of the rapidly evolving consumer products sphere and how could they be addressed?

Join the discussion with major business leaders and leading law practitioners on Thursday, 7 November in Basel. We hope to welcome you and any interested colleagues at what promises to be a thought-provoking day.

We would be delighted if you could join us at the Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening, as well as at our Networking Drinks following the conference on Thursday. Don’t miss this chance to further discuss with our speakers and other attendees!



From 19:30

Welcome Reception

Join us for the perfect conversation starter to mingle with speakers and other attendees before an active day of learning and networking.

Venue: Les Gareçons (Badischer Bahnhof - Schwarzwaldallee 200, 4016 Basel)


09:00 - 9:30


From 09:30


Welcome and introduction by Dr. Patrick Sommer (CMS Switzerland)

Presentations and panel discussions will include the following:

Panel: The Economic Impact of Retail Alliances

European Retail Alliances, which combine the national retail champions from various European countries, are growingly powerful. The EU institutions and several national instances are investigating whether retailers’ buying power leads to significant harm to consumers and/or competition in general. Industry players complain about lower profitability and their decreasing ability to invest in new products while competition experts discuss the risk of market tipping.

> Dr. Charalabos Klados, Colgate-Palmolive
> Dr. Michael Bauer, CMS Brussels

Panel: Sustainability

Sustainability entails among other things the process of people maintaining change in a balanced environment. In view of the growing demands of consumers and society, the panel will discuss about how to accomplish the transition to sustainability and the difficulties we face in achieving this. Topics will include inter alia supply chain management, circular economy, the purchase of raw materials, the use of plastic and the advertisement of sustainable products.

> Paula Lum Young-Bautil, Better Cotton Initiative
> Pascal Lüthi, BHP Brugger und Partner AG
> Esme Saynor, CMS UK
> Dr. Simone Brauchbar Birkhäuser, CMS Switzerland
> Fabian Martens, CMS Switzerland
> Dr. Heike Blank, CMS Germany

Panel: E-Commerce

In the last years, electronic commerce has evolved into a crucial global distribution channel for consumer product offerors while stationary trade has to a substantial degree declined. Furthermore, mobile applications (Apps) have emerged as a new distribution sub-channel enabling consumers to view and order products off-line. We look forward to discussing various new trends in the e-commerce field, such as personalised services, interactive product presentations, trading platforms for luxury goods (e.g. Chrono24), artificial intelligence and big data analytics, social commerce and voice commerce.

> Dr. Dirk Spacek, CMS Switzerland

Panel: EU new class action directive

In Summer 2019, the main part of the EU New Deal for Consumers (package) was formally adopted. But part of it remained subject to discussion: namely, the Representative Actions Directive dealing with collective redress. Is this new EU legislation controversial? If so, why? This panel will provide you with insights into the legal, political and practical aspects of this potential game-changer for consumers and businesses.

> Sebastian Stolzke, European Justice Forum
> Roderick Nieuwmeyer, CMS Brussels

Panel: Diversity

Why should you care about diversity and inclusion? Going beyond political correctness and acknowledging what diversity truly means is a step that many companies have been struggling with. Diversity is not about tolerating difference; it is a set of conscious practices to involve people from all backgrounds and create a fair, balanced workplace. This is not an end goal either, but it should be part of the organisation vision as a key to innovation and growth. Diversity appears as a way to produce a rich array of ideas and creative solutions thanks to a mix of diverse talents with different thinking styles and perspectives, which wouldn’t exist in homogeneous environments. We will discuss benefits but also challenges organisations may face to create truly inclusive workplaces.

> Dr. Silke Engel, Coca-Cola European Partners
> Marta Plana, Barcelona Football Club
> Carlos Peña, CMS Spain

FMCG and Brexit - What next?

Our session will cover the most topical implications for FMCG companies arising out of the then current status of Brexit.

> Louise Wallace, CMS UK

From 17:30

Networking Drinks
Join us for an informal get-together at the end of the conference to further connect with your peers.

Venue: Bar Rouge (Messeplatz 10, 4058 Basel)