Nestlé pushes baby milk around the world in ways that break internationally agreed marketing standards.

See examples and email Nestlé on the Baby Milk Action website by clicking here.

Nestlé's marketing strategies undermine breastfeeding.

For example, it claims its formula will 'protect' babies. In reality, babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. Nestlé refuses to stop this strategy.

Nestlé's strategy was explained by spoof marketing guru, Mr Henry Nastie, at the Nestlé demonstration in 2010.

Watch on youtube by clicking here.

Nestlé also puts babies who are fed on formula at unnecessary extra risk. It refuses to warn on labels that powdered formula is not sterile and explain the simple steps to follow to kill any bacteria that may be in the powder.

For information on the problem see the World Health Organsiation Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula. Nestlé has repeatedly refused to bring its warnings and instructions into line with the WHO Guidelines. Click here for the WHO guidelines.

Nestlé claims that it abides by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes adopted by the World Health Assembly. The Assembly is the world's highest health policy setting body. However, Nestlé's own policies are much weaker.

For example, Nestlé's policies allow it to advertise formula brands on television, even in countries where there is poor sanitation and higher infant mortality.

Nestlé rejected complaints about it advertising its Nan brand of formula in Armenia in 2011, a country Nestlé itself classifies as "high risk". See below.

Click here for full analysis

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) last three-yearly Breaking the Rules monitoring report in 2010 documented examples of violations from around the world. The report contains many examples of Nestlé’s aggressive promotion of formula and inappropriate marketing of baby foods.

Nestlé executives said they would act on just 3% of the cases highlighted - click here for details.

Nestlé violates the International Code and other Resolutions of the World Health Assembly more than any other company.

The Code and Resolutions were adopted by the World Health Assembly to ensure that mothers are not discouraged from breastfeeding and that breastmilk substitutes are used safely if needed.

UNICEF says: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year.

Nestlé drives down standards for the baby food industry as a whole.

For example, in 2007 its competitors tried unsuccessfully to stop it advertising infant formula in supermarkets in South Africa - click here for full details.

Nestlé is the most boycotted company in the UK and one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet. Nestlé's Public Affairs Manager has admitted Nestlé is "widely boycotted".

Nestlé has rejected a four-point plan from Baby Milk Action that would save babies' lives and ultimately lead to the end of the boycott. Click here for full analysis

  1. Nestle must state in writing that it accepts that the International Code and the subsequent, relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions are minimum requirements for every country. NESTLE RESPONSE: "For your information, the World Health Assembly does not formulate marketing standards – rather it makes health policy recommendations to Member States. It is up to each Member State to determine how it implements these policy recommendations in their own country, according to their development goals and their social and legislative framework."
  2. Nestle must state in writing that it will make the required changes to bring its baby food marketing policy and practice into line with the International Code and Resolutions. NESTLE RESPONSE: Nestle continues to dispute any wrong-doing even in the face of documentary evidence of malpractice. For example, at the time of writing, Nestle is defending its latest strategy of promoting its breastmilk substitutes with the claim it 'protects' babies. Nestle rejected 97% of the violations in the last global monitoring report.
  3. Baby Milk Action will take the statements to the International Nestle Boycott Committee and suggest that representatives meet with Nestle to discuss its timetable for making the required changes. CURRENT SITUATION: Nestle has not provided the necessary statements.
  4. If IBFAN monitoring finds no Nestle violations for 18 months, the boycott will be called off. CURRENT SITUATION: Systematic violations continue.
Thousands of boycott supporters targeted this violation in Baby Milk Action's 'email Nestle' campaign from June 2010.

This was one of just four violations of the 130 in the Breaking the Rules 2010 report that Nestle agreed to stop.

In its response to the report, Nestle said: "This concern has already been raised with Nestle by Baby Milk Action and a response was provided." Nestle claimed "Gold Standard" was "meant to refer to the gold colour of the labels of the product" and that the leaflet was "discontinued in November 2010".

Click here for information on other violations that Nestle refuses to stop

Demonstrations have also prompted Nestlé to changes its policies - click here for an example.

Nestlé's baby milk marketing is just one issue where there are concerns. Other experts are campaigning about Nestlé's treatment of coffee and dairy farmers, abuse of trade union rights, its exploitation of water resources, child slavery and labour in its cocoa supply chain and other issues.

Complaints about some of these issues have been registered with the United Nations Global Compact - click here for the report.

Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. Baby Milk Action works within a global network to strengthen independent, transparent and effective controls on the marketing of the baby feeding industry.

The global network is called IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) a network of over 200 citizens groups in more than 100 countries. Click here for further details