Global mega-corporation which aims to corner the world market in food products. Nestlé originated as a harmless Swiss purveyor of milk and dairy products but has expanded into almost every edible item today.

Very much one of the Evil Empire style companies in the 1980s and 1990s, predominately for its huge power in the world coffee market, making it vastly more attractive for farmers in developing countries to grow coffee beans for consumption in the West rather than food crops for consumption at home, and even more so for its policy of offering free powdered milk to women of newborn babies: free that is, until their own breast milk supplies dried up. Just like any successful drug dealer, once they had a customer hooked, Nestlé then announced that prices were going up.

Today a kinder, friendlier public face of Nestlé seems to have abandoned both of these policies. After all, what's a couple of extra tens of millions of dollars profit to a company that counts its global income in billions?

Some of Nestlé's subsidiaries and trading names (note many of these are UK-specific, simply because I'm not sure which brand names are well-known elsewhere):

Undoubtedly the Nestlé is far larger and wider than just these products, but it gives an idea...

Nestlé holds about 50% of the world's breast milk substitute market and is being boycotted for continued breaches of the 1981 WHO Code regulating the marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Nestlé encourages bottle feeding primarily by either giving away free samples of baby milk to hospitals, or neglecting to collect payments. It has been criticised for misinforming mothers and health workers in promotional literature. Nestlé implies that malnourished mothers, and mothers of twins and premature babies are unable to breastfeed, despite health organisations claims that there is no evidence to support this.

Evidence of direct advertising to mothers has been found in over twenty countries such as South Africa and Thailand. Instructions and health warnings on packaging are often either absent, not prominently displayed or in an inappropriate language. All of these actions directly contravene the Code regulating the marketing of baby milk formulas.

Nestlé own nearly 50% of the cosmetics company L'Oréal. L'Oréal was subject to boycott calls from animal rights groups including PeTA because of its animal testing policy. Since then L'Oréal has claimed that it no longer tests finished products on animals. This statement is obviously intended to mislead since finished products do not require further testing and it implies that the ingredients are certainly still subject to tests. Some groups called off the boycott in response to L'Oréals' claims, however there are individuals and organisations who continue the boycott and L'Oréal continues to test on animals.

Source: copied with permission from www.mcspotlight.org
Thanks to DejaMorgana for pointing out that it looked like I might've had a claim on writing this text, which I don't.

The main concern at the heart of the Nestle milk formula marketing plan was the deaths it caused.

Nestle marketed its powdered milk formula in developing countries. Their arguments were roughly that a) the mothers' breast milk was not good enough for their child and b) western mothers use milk formula. Many people in developing countries want a taste of the luxuries enjoyed by those more fortunate than themselves. When they are able to, they emulate western society. Parents bought and used the baby milk formula.

While research has shown that breast milk is not inferior to milk formula, mere economic exploitation - persuading people to buy a product they didn't really need then raising the price - could perhaps have been forgiven.

Think a moment. What do you need to mix with the milk powder in order to obtain a liquid? Water. People in developing countries often lack a safe water supply. Wells are polluted with arsenic, bacteria, other toxic minerals and various other pollutants. In their blind faith in the superiority of western ways, mothers mixed the milk formula with unsafe water, and often, their children died.

In addition - often the mothers had no way of sterilizing bottles or teats - so the children could contract diseases from that source as well.

To add to the problems caused by Nestle's encouragement of bottle feeding in developing countries - breast feeding is an effective contraceptive. Breast feeding stimulates production of the hormones that suppress ovulation - thus helping to prevent the woman becoming pregnant again immediately. By promoting bottlefeeding, Nestle has taken away what is often the one contraceptive method these women have left to them, and contributed to the Earth's over-population.

Figures were quoted in the 1970s to show that hundreds of thousands of babies were dying each year due to bottle feeding related diseases. Various human rights and religious groups have at times supported a boycott on Nestle products, and while some of these boycotts have been lifted, in the late 1990s there were calls to reinstate them - as it was found that Nestle continued to breach regulations concerning the marketing of baby milk formula.

So, unless you're dying for a KitKat or an Aero bar - consider boycotting Nestle.

Acknowledgements: http://perc.ca/PEN/1991-09/patterson.html

The case for boycotting Nestle:

The Nestle boycott is part of the worldwide 'Baby Milk Action' campaign to pressurise Nestle into more ethical standards with regards to their promotion of bottle feeding babies. In many less developed countries, Nestle gives out literature promoting artificial milk over breastfeeding without outlining the dangers of bottle feeding; gives inducements to health workers to promote their artificial milk, and gives free samples to mothers which allow breastmilk to dry up - so the mother must continue to provide for her child with costly artificial milk at the expense of the rest of her family, or the baby will starve to death.

UNICEF says that "reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save the lives of 1.5 million infants every year". Also, in areas with unsafe water, a bottle-fed baby is 25 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than a breastfed one. In this way, breastfeeding is preferable, as advocated by the United Nations.

Boycotting Nestle and other campaigning action puts pressure on this company to develop more ethical standards towards their baby milk promotion.

A quick reference list, should you wish to boycott Nestle(UK):

Coffee
Nescafe -
  • Gold Blend
  • Blend 37
  • Alta Rica
  • Cap Colombie
  • Cappuccino
  • Decaff
  • Fine Blend
Dairy
  • Carnation
  • Chambourcy
  • Fussells
  • Ideal
  • Milkmaid
  • Tip-Top
  • Bonjour
  • Chamby
  • Creme Vienna
  • Darlky
  • Flanby
  • Fulcreem Custard
  • Hippopota
  • Jacky
  • Le Grande
  • Nouvelle
  • Robot
  • Hagendaaz
  • Sealtest
Sweets and snacks
  • Kit Kat
  • Maverick
  • Rowntree
  • Aero
  • After Eights
  • Lyons Maid Ice Cream
  • Nestle Ice Cream
  • Polo
  • Smarties
  • Lion Bar
  • Baci chocolate
  • Blue Riband
  • Breakaway
  • Cabana
  • Caramac
  • Caramel Wafer
  • Cello
  • Creamola
  • Dairy Crunch
  • Drifter
  • Eclipse
  • Good News
  • Festival
  • Fizzy Jerkz
  • Fruit Pastilles
  • Fox's Glacier Mints
  • Henri Nestle Collection
  • Jellytots
  • Karima
  • Lion Bar
  • Matchmakers
  • Milky Bar
  • Montego
  • Munchies
  • Novo
  • Quality Street
  • Rolo
  • RPC
  • Savana
  • Secret
  • Toffee Crisp
  • Toffo
  • Tooty Frooties
  • Walnut Whip
  • Weekend
  • Willy Wonka
  • Yorkie
Cereals
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Shreddies
  • Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Crisp Rice
  • Energen low cal wheatflakes
  • Force
  • Golden Grahams
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Lucky Charms
  • Team
  • Robertson's cornflakes
  • Sunny Jim
  • Wheatflakes
  • Golden Nuggets
Meals
Seasonings
  • British Shoyu
  • British vinegars
  • Cook-in-the Pot
  • Dufrais
  • Sarsons vinegar
Ready meals
  • Findus
  • Buitoni
  • Crosse & Blackwell
  • Maggi
  • Alphabetti
  • Bonne Cuisine
  • Dish of the Day
  • Eskimo
  • Four Seasons
  • Healthy Balance
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Pasta Choice
  • Rice & Things
  • Scrunchies
  • Waistline
Spreads
Drinks
  • Perrier
  • Ashbourne
  • Contrexeville
  • Buxton
  • Vittel
  • Vittelloise
  • Milo
  • Build-up
  • Caro
  • Elevenses
  • Flo-Mix
  • Libby's C Drinks
  • Mix-O-Choc
  • Moonshine
  • Nescore
  • Nesfit
  • Nesquick
  • Slender
  • Superquick
  • Um Bongo
Misc
Cosmetics Pet food
  • Spiller's
  • Friskies
  • Go-Cat
  • Go-Dog
Also, Alcon contact lense cleaner.

Addresses

You can write to Nestle to tell them you are boycotting their products at either -

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (CEO of Nestle)
Nestlé SA
Avenue Nestlé
1800 Vevey
Switzerland

or
Mr. Alastair Sykes (Head of UK Nestle)
Nestlé (UK)
St George's House
Croydon, Surrey
CR9 1NR

Sources
www.babymilkaction.org The list of products I got from Nestle a few years ago - if there are any more please msg!

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