Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I wrote yesterday about reports of Nestlé buying milk from Grace Mugabe, wife of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The Mugabe's are on a list of government people facing sanctions over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
In the report on the BBC website Nestlé defends buying the milk, stating:
"Had Nestle decided to close down its operations in Zimbabwe, the company would have triggered further food shortages and hundreds of job losses among its employees and milk suppliers in an already very difficult situation."
The threat sounds strangely familiar. In 1998 Zimbabwe was introducing legislation controlling the marketing of baby foods. Nestlé called a meeting of Parliamentarians and told them that if the law went ahead it would pull out of Zimbabwe. Nestlé said: "This would result in job losses for about 200 people and an extremely negative economic impact on local farmers who supply us with milk, wheat, maize and sugar."
The Minister of Health judged that Nestlé was making an 'idle threat' as Nestlé would not pull out of the country - it wasn't there to create jobs, but to make money. Zimbabwe went ahead with legislation to protect its babies. Nestlé did not pull out of Zimbabwe. Nesté's threat was picked up by Mark Thomas in one of his investigations into Nestlé. See:
So when it suits Nestlé to threaten people with hardship it has no qualms. When it suits it to express sympathy for their plight, then it will do so to defend sanction busting! The common factor? Nestlé profit.
Nice one, Nestlé!
We know you.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
An article in today's Daily Telegraph profiles Nestlé under the headline: "Nestlé: the world's biggest food company and one of the 'most boycotted'".
Nestlé is the target of a boycott because it is the worst of the baby food companies in marketing baby foods in breach of international standards. Its practices undermine breastfeeding and mislead people who use formula. According to UNICEF: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year."
The article includes news of International Nestlé-Free Week, scheduled for 26 October - 1 November. People are encouraged to promote the boycott during the week and if they are not boycotting already, to do so at least for that week. Click here for details.
For analysis of Nestlé's dismissal of the charges against it, see:
The profile is linked to an article highlighting that Nestlé is purchasing 1 million litres of milk per year from Grace Mugabe, wife of the President Robert Mugabe, despite sanctions due to human rights abuses by the regime. According to the article: "American and European officials said that if Nestlé was subject to their rules it would be committing a criminal offence by trading with Mrs Mugabe." The article notes that Nestlé "is not obliged to comply with those sanctions as its headquarters are in Switzerland, but the country has its own set of measures, including against Mrs Mugabe, among which it "is forbidden to make funds available to persons mentioned, or put them, directly or indirectly, at their disposition". Nestlé denies that it has violated Swiss law."
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
A close look at Nestle's letter in the RCSLT Bulletin shows the dishonesty used to protect this company's unethical practices
Speech therapists have a role to play in infant feeding – indeed in Brazil it is common practice for milk banks to have a speech therapist as part of the team to help with positioning and because infant feeding methods can have a profound effect on development of the mouth and teeth. In countries such as Brazil Nestlé also attempts to woo speech therapists with financial support.
A related goal is that Nestlé can then use its links to try to improve its image. In part this may be by boasting of its financial support to the organization. It is also because an organization accepting Nestlé funding is inevitably drawn into defending the company in excusing its decision. So in The Bulletin the Editor suggests that the documents provided by Nestlé support its position, whereas objective analysis of these and source documents such as those I reference would expose how Nestlé has attempted to mislead.
If you question whether Nestlé could really be so dishonest in the assurances it has given in its letter, let me simply say you need to wake up and smell the non-Nescafé coffee.