Protests against the University of Alberta awarding Mr. Brabeck an honorary degree, March 2012. Photo by raise my voice on Flickr. PR Week 2010: "Nestle is embarking on an emergency online PR campaign to restore its reputation amid sustained criticism on the internet… In October 2009, a social media crisis erupted after Nestle invited 20 influential 'mummy bloggers' to its US HQ for an all-expenses-paid meeting with its CEO... For the past three decades, Nestle has faced a continued boycott because of concern over the company's infant formula milk business in developing countries... Nestle received a 'positivity' score in social media of just 12 out of 100 in an audit by Yomego Social Media Reputation. Kraft scored 32. The research firm analysed Nestle over three months. The low score is driven by anti-Nestle sentiment on blogs and Twitter." ---- In 2005, GMIPoll found Nestle to be one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet. Nestle Public Affairs Manager said in 2007: "GMI Poll showed that along with Nestle, several brands were widely boycotted. The most boycotted were generally the largest companies with the greatest visibility of which Nestle is one"
Access to Nutrition Index on Nestle: Why isn't there full disclosure in Nestlé's Creating Shared Value report? ATNI rates Nestlé highly due to Nestlé's own statements, but was also critical. It states: 'Nestlé is among the top three performers in the ATNI Global Index and it performs well in almost all areas assessed by ATNI with the exception of its marketing practices related to breast-milk substitutes (see 'Areas for Improvement' for more detail).' Why have executives dropped the part about marketing of breastmilk substitutes from the CSV report?
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  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.
Click here for full analysis Nestle weakened its Policy and Instructions for Implementation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in 2010 to excuse promotion of follow-on milks with the same brand as infant formula (as long as they have a 3 or 4 on the label), something it said it would not do in its previous Instructions. In this way Nestle's advertising of Nan, in for example Armenia (which Nestle classifies as a high-risk country) does not break its new Instructions, though it is a violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly. Nestlé makes much in its Creating Shared Value report about it being included in the FTSE4Good ethical investment index. FTSE weakened the criteria for breastmilk substitutes prior to Nestle's inclusion. It was excluded under the previous criteria, which required compliance with the Code and Resolutions - now they look to company's own policies and management systems. Nestle refers to an assessment conducted in India and Zambia. It does not mention that FTSE raised some concerns about activities in these countries.
Click here for full analysis The Indian Government wrote to Nestle on 7 March 2012 about its targeting of health workers with sponsorship and conferences: "In our opinion, which has been clearly expressed in our letter dated 17 August 2010, such activities are violative of the [Indian Law - the IMS Act]. I draw your kind attention to another letter dated 29 December 2010 sent by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to your organization and others expressing that 'IMS Act clearly prohibits sponsorship of health workers or their association directly or indirectly by the Infant Food Manufacturing companies'." --- Yet, Nestle Chief Executive Officer ignored the position of the Indian Government and subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions when it assured FTSE in a letter dated 18 November 2011: "We carry out these activities in accordance with the WHO Code with specifically allows companies to 'donate fellowships, study tours, research grants, attendance at professional conferences or the like', as long as the institution to which the professional is affiliated is informed."
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
Nestle's labels from around the world - click here