Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

More on the Nestlé Boycott

by heather

On the Baby Milk Action site there are links to images you can put on your blog saying that you support the  Nestlé Boycott. Yesterday I sent a quick message to them letting them know that I supported them and had blogged about the issue. It was an automated thing and I wasn’t expecting an answer. This morning I found a nice email response that I thought I would share. It explains further how 1- Nestlé is responding to their side of the story and 2- boycotting is effective:

“Dear Heather,
Thanks for your email and sharing your blog.
I’ve had a quick read and thought the following two points would be useful.
Nestlé’s response is worse than ‘no comment’. In response to the last Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules monitoring report at the end of 2010, for example, it said it would act on just 3% of the cases reported. It defends practices such as claiming its formula ‘protects’ babies – a claim it makes in 120 countries. It also produces reports claiming it abides with the Code – but these do not stand up to scrutiny in this area, or in the other areas of its business where it is criticised. See:
There is a comment you mention from a friend saying that the boycott has been running for a long time and is not working. This is incorrect and misunderstands the nature of the boycott. It works in raising awareness of the issue – as your blog post itself proves. It puts pressure on Nestlé to change its policies and practices – and has succeeded in various respects, from Nestlé agreeing to stop promoting complementary foods for use before 6 months of age (after a nine-year campaign for it to respect this call by the World Health Assembly) to stopping specific violations boycott supporters have targeted. For example, Nestlé dropped its claim that its formula is ‘The new “Gold Standard” in infant nutrition’ after thousands of boycott supporters emailed it in our last email campaign. Some other examples are in a blog published by New Internationalist this month (again showing how the boycott keeps the spotlight on Nestlé marketing):
The boycott also alerts policy makers to Nestlé malpractice as it attempts to portray itself as a trusted partner in drafting laws, working on government programmes etc.
Of course, we are aiming for Nestlé to bring its policies and practices fully into line with the World Health Assembly marketing requirements and have put a four-point plan to Nestlé in this respect, which it has repeatedly rejected. Instead it invests in countering the boycott and underhand tactics to undermine campaigns exposing its malpractice – it was ordered to pay damages to a Swiss campaign group in January after infiltrating it with spies:
Nestlé refusal to accept the four-point plan is surely a reason for increasing the pressure, not letting it get away with abusing human rights, remembering that the boycott is part of an integrated strategy. At the same time campaigners are working for legislation to hold corporations to account – this is opposed at every step by the industry, with Nestlé taking the lead, and using existing measures to stop malpractice.
I hope this extra information is useful.
Best wishes,
Mike Brady
Campaigns and Networking Coordinator
Baby Milk Action
So there you go people. Take a stand, you can make a difference. It also came to my attention that you can inform Nestlé that you are boycotting them through this link. I tried, but there was a computer error and I was told that my comment could not be submitted. I may have to write them a letter the old fashioned way.

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