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Nestlé to be exposed by international gathering of human rights campaigners

Announcement: 16 October and 23 October events

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, is to be exposed for malpractice including aggressive marketing of baby foods, trade union busting, environmental destruction and exploitation of suppliers as international experts meet at the European Social Forum, London, 16 October 16:30 - 18:30 and at a public meeting in Edinburgh, 23 October, 13:00 - 17:30. The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), celebrating 25 years of campaigning to protect infants and their families, will present monitoring results gathered in 69 countries, which show Nestlé continues to be the worst of the baby food companies in pushing artificial feeding over breastfeeding. While Nestlé is the target of a 20-country boycott for this malpractice, there are other concerns about its activities, which experts will expose. The London event is being chaired by Dr. Caroline Lucas MEP, representing the International Forum on Globalisation.

The Brazilian Citizens’ Movement for Water will explain its involvement in winning a legal action against Nestlé over the environmental destruction caused by Nestlé Perrier's water bottling operation in the historic spa town of São Lourenço. Despite promising the judge and a hearing in the House of Representatives that it would close down its operations this month, Nestlé has increased the volume it is pumping, which has already damaged medicinal springs in the town’s water park.

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign and representatives of the Colombian Food Workers Union (Sinaltrainal) will describe how trade unionists have been targeted by paramilitary death squads after being labelled as enemies of the company and "personae non gratae" by Nestlé Colombia executives.

Together with coffee growers' organisations in producing countries, Oxfam International is running a campaign attempting to persuade governments, multilaterals and coffee roasters, including Nestlé, to pay a decent wage to suppliers and will present information about this.

The meeting is being conducted jointly with Ethical Consumer Magazine and Corporate Watch (which will have reports on Nestlé available) and Simpol-UK which is developing policies for holding corporations to account in the Simultaneous Policy. Richard Howitt MEP, who organised a public hearing into Nestlé before the European Parliament Development and Cooperation Committee, which Nestlé refused to attend (see press release 23 November 2000), will speak at the London meeting on his white paper aimed at holding corporations accountable against international standards. Campaigners will discuss strategies for taking action against Nestlé malpractice.

The meetings arise from a similar gathering in Nestlé’s home town of Vevey, Switzerland, in June 2004, hosted by the Berne Declaration, Attac-Switzerland and Greenpeace Switzerland where Attac-Switzerland launched a book exposing the ‘Nestlé empire’.

For further information contact: Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Baby Milk Action, 23 St. Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AX. Tel: 01223 464420. Mobile: 07986 736179. Email:


The workshop at the European Social Forum (ESF) will take place in Congress House 3, Bloomsbury (see ESF programme for a map). The meeting in Edinburgh will take place at Teviot Row House, Bristo Square (click here for a map).

Franklin Fredrick will also speak in the seminar "Water: Power-politics and public services" on Friday 15 October, 13:00 - 15:00 at the ESF. For further information on the water campaign in Brazil see and Franklin's article in the Simpol-UK newsletter at

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