Nestlé boycott

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Nestlé baby milk scandal has grown up but not gone away

The First World War created demand for dairy products in the form of government contracts, and, by the end of the war, Nestlé's production had more than doubled. One was in Bandon , while the other was in Milwaukie. They expanded them considerably, processing , pounds of condensed milk daily in the Bandon plant. Nestlé felt the effects of the Second World War immediately. Factories were established in developing countries, particularly in Latin America.

Ironically, the war helped with the introduction of the company's newest product, Nescafé "Nestlé's Coffee" , which became a staple drink of the US military. Nestlé's production and sales rose in the wartime economy. After the war, government contracts dried up, and consumers switched back to fresh milk.

However, Nestlé's management responded quickly, streamlining operations and reducing debt. The s saw Nestlé's first expansion into new products, with chocolate-manufacture becoming the company's second most important activity. Growth accelerated and numerous companies were acquired. In Nestlé merged with Maggi , a manufacturer of seasonings and soups. Diversification came with a shareholding in L'Oreal in In , Nestlé made its second venture outside the food industry, by acquiring Alcon Laboratories Inc.

In the s, Nestlé's improved bottom line allowed the company to launch a new round of acquisitions. In Nestlé Nespresso S. The first half of the s proved to be favourable for Nestlé.

Trade barriers crumbled, and world markets developed into more or less integrated trading areas. Since , there have been various acquisitions, including San Pellegrino , Spillers Petfoods , and Ralston Purina In the same time-frame, Nestlé entered in a joint bid with Cadbury and came close to purchasing the iconic American company Hershey's , one of its fiercest confectionery competitors, but the deal eventually fell through.

In January , it took full ownership of Dreyer's, thus becoming the world's largest ice cream maker, with a Nestlé agreed to sell its controlling stake in Alcon to Novartis on 4 January Since , Nestle has been working to transform itself into a nutrition, health and wellness company in an effort to combat declining confectionery sales and the threat of expanding government regulation of such foods. The Institute aims to develop "a new industry between food and pharmaceuticals" by creating foodstuffs with preventative and corrective health properties that would replace pharmaceutical drugs from pill bottles.

The Health Science branch has already produced several products, such as drinks and protein shakes meant to combat malnutrition, diabetes, digestive health, obesity, and other diseases.

In recent years, Nestlé Health Science has made several acquisitions. It also holds a minority stake in Vital Foods, a New Zealand-based company that develops kiwifruit-based solutions for gastrointestinal conditions as of In December , Nestlé announced that it was opening 10 skin care research centres worldwide, deepening its investment in a faster-growing market for healthcare products.

Nestlé announced in January that it was relocating its U. In September , Nestlé S. Nestle set a new profit target in September and agreed to offload over 20 of its US candy brands in January However, sales grew only 2.

While some suggestions were adopted, Loeb said in a July letter that the shifts are too small and too slow. In a statement, Nestle wrote that it was "delivering results" and listed actions it had taken, including investing in key brands and its global coffee partnership with Starbucks.

However, activist investors disagreed, leading Third Point Management to launch NestleNOW, a website to push its case with recommendations calling for change, accusing Nestle of not being as fast, aggressive, or strategic as it needs to be.

Activist investors called for Nestle to divide into three units with distinct CEOs, regional structures, and marketing heads - beverage, nutrition, and grocery; spin off more businesses that do not fit its model such as ice cream, frozen foods, and confectionery; and add an outsider with expertise in the food and beverage industry to the board.

In , consolidated sales were CHF Research and development investment was CHF 1. According to a global survey of online consumers by the Reputation Institute , Nestlé has a reputation score of As of the board is composed of: The company engages 3rd party lobbying firms to engage with parliaments and governments in various jurisdictions.

For example, in South Australia the company engages Etched Communications. Nestlé has over brands [62] [63] with a wide range of products across a number of markets, including coffee, bottled water , milkshakes and other beverages , breakfast cereals , infant foods , performance and healthcare nutrition , seasonings , soups and sauces , frozen and refrigerated foods, and pet food.

In late September , the Hong Kong government found melamine in a Chinese-made Nestlé milk product. Six infants died from kidney damage, and a further babies were hospitalised.

On 2 October , the Taiwan Health ministry announced that six types of milk powders produced in China by Nestlé contained low-level traces of melamine, and were "removed from the shelves". As of , Nestlé has implemented initiatives to prevent contamination and utilizes what it calls a "factory and farmers" model that eliminates the middleman.

Farmers bring milk directly to a network of Nestlé-owned collection centers, where a computerized system samples, tests, and tags each batch of milk.

To reduce further the risk of contamination at the source, the company provides farmers with continuous training and assistance in cow selection, feed quality, storage, and other areas.

The NFSI announced it would work closely with authorities to help provide a scientific foundation for food-safety policies and standards, with support to include early management of food-safety issues and collaboration with local universities, research institutes and government agencies on food-safety.

In an incident in , weevils and fungus were found in Cerelac baby food. In June , an outbreak of E. H7 was linked to Nestlé's refrigerated cookie dough originating in a plant in Danville , Virginia. In the US, it caused sickness in more than 50 people in 30 states, half of whom required hospitalisation.

Following the outbreak, Nestlé voluntarily recalled 30, cases of the cookie dough. The cause was determined to be contaminated flour obtained from a raw material supplier. When operations resumed, the flour used was heat-treated to kill bacteria. In May , Food Safety Regulators from the Uttar Pradesh , India found that samples of Nestlé's leading noodles Maggi had up to 17 times beyond permissible safe limits of lead in addition to monosodium glutamate.

In India, Maggi products were returned to the shelves in November , [90] [91] accompanied by a Nestlé advertising campaign to win back the trust of members of the Indian community. Kraft Foods withdrew its sponsorship on 26 September , with Nestlé taking its place. Co-financed by Nestlé and the Walt Disney World Resort, a gradual refurbishment of the pavilion began on 27 September Between and , the pavilion underwent its second major refurbishment.

Nestlé stopped sponsoring The Land in Music festivals On 5 August , Nestlé and the Beijing Music Festival signed an agreement to extend by three years Nestlé's sponsorship of this international music festival. Nestlé has been an extended sponsor of the Beijing Music Festival for 11 years since The new agreement will continue the partnership through Nestlé has partnered the Salzburg Festival in Austria for 20 years. In , Nestlé renewed its sponsorship of the Salzburg Festival until Together, they have created the "Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award," an initiative that aims to discover young conductors globally and to contribute to the development of their careers.

Cycling Nestlé's sponsorship of the Tour de France began in and the agreement was extended in , a move which demonstrated the company's interest in the Tour. In July , Nestlé Waters and the organisers of the Tour de France announced that their partnership will continue until The main promotional benefits of this partnership will spread on four key brands from Nestlé's product portfolio: Vittel, Powerbar, Nesquik, or Ricore.

Youth Sports On 27 January , the International Association of Athletics Federations announced that Nestlé will be the main sponsor for the further development of IAAF's Kids' Athletics Programme, which is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports. The five-year sponsorship started in January Nestlé followed suit after other large sponsors, including Adidas , also stopped supporting the IAAF.

A boycott was launched in the United States on 7 July , against the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation. It spread in the United States and expanded into Europe in the early s. It was prompted by concern about Nestlé's "aggressive marketing" of breast milk substitutes, particularly in less economically developed countries LEDCs , largely among the poor. The boycott was relaunched in Their Assurance Statements are available in the public domain. In May , the debate over Nestlé's unethical marketing of infant formula was relaunched in the Asia-Pacific region.

It was alleged that this contribution affected the release of the report and led to the author of the report submitting an article to Fortune Magazine praising the company's position.

Nestlé has been under investigation in China since over allegations that the company bribed hospital staff to obtain the medical records of patients and push its infant formula to increase sales.

At the second World Water Forum in , Nestlé and other corporations persuaded the World Water Council to change its statement so as to reduce access to drinking water from a "right" to a "need".

Nestlé continues to take control of aquifers and bottle their water for profit. Nestlé backed down from its demand after more than 8, people complained via e-mail to the company about its treatment of the Ethiopian government. The company agreed to re-invest any money it received from Ethiopia back into the country. In , after the cocoa industry had not met the Harkin—Engel Protocol deadline for certifying that the worst forms of child labour according to the International Labour Organization 's Convention had been eliminated from cocoa production, the International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit in under the Alien Tort Claims Act against Nestlé and others on behalf of three Malian children.

The suit alleged the children were trafficked to Ivory Coast , forced into slavery, and experienced frequent beatings on a cocoa plantation. Nestlé is the largest of the baby milk companies. Monitoring by groups on the ground around the world shows Nestlé systematically violates the marketing requirements and drives down standards for the industry as a whole. The boycott has forced some changes from the company, but it is still a long way from complying. Campaigners are also working for laws.

Nestlé can comply when it is given no choice. You can find out more information and look at the evidence yourself on the Baby Milk Action website at:. It is important to tell Nestlé you will be boycotting it until it accepts and acts on the plan put to it by boycott groups for saving infant lives.

For further information on what has been achieved thanks to pressure from the boycott and why it continues to be important, click here. If you would like leaflets and petition sheets in quantity, contact us. Find out more by reading our year report. You can help this work further by becoming a member of Baby Milk Action. Expensive baby foods can also increase family poverty. Poverty is a major cause of malnutrition. Evidence of Nestlé malpractice If you doubt that Nestlé is doing anything wrong, see the monitoring evidence in our Campaign for Ethical Marketing section.

Supporting the boycott You can register your support for the boycott via our contact page. Keep us informed of your activities. It can help to generate international media coverage.

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Simply add the URL: As you probably know, I support the boycott of Nestlé products. As the world searches for better measures of development than gross domestic product GDP , counting dead babies remains an important indicator.

But if infant mortality was a stark indicator of poor infant feeding practices in the s, gross obesity is a parallel indicator of poor nutrition today. And action to control the products and marketing of large food companies are an obvious means to improve people's health.

So the spectre of global regulation still looms, an existential issue for the global food companies. But there will need to be more explicit codes of practice and the political will to enforce them if shareholder action is to be effective. If global companies are to produce and promote healthier food and treat their suppliers more fairly and remain market leaders, such standards must also be enforced or cheap unregulated competition will inevitably undermine those who comply.

Critics of the global food business also face challenges. Realists know that a return to a bucolic world of trusted small-scale local food production cannot meet the needs of seven billion people today and more tomorrow.

But should activists build on existing regulatory platforms by raising the bar, setting new standards and mobilising shareholders to promote a more responsible and accountable global food industry? Or should they take a more aggressive approach to monitoring and acting directly against damaging behaviour? We will probably see a mix of both strategies, making the food business a challenging place to be over the next few years.

Back in Davos, my dedication to Brabeck was simple. Reading the Baby Killer report today showed that we had made progress since the s, I said. I thanked him for his support on the global water agenda, and I meant it. Of course there are many places around the world where Nestlé's operations are challenged by workers and communities, for many valid reasons.

But in an imperfect world, at least some of the immediate issues are now on the table for public discussion and he has helped to put them there. I could perhaps have added the Mozambican adaptation of that old revolutionary slogan: But, however accurate, that would have spoilt the moment.