Libby's Juices to be removed from Nestlé boycott list –
Linda McCartney products to be added?
The producers of Libby's Juices, which includes organic products, have contacted Baby Milk Action indicating that all links with Nestlé in the UK and Ireland have now ended. Nestlé is the target of an international boycott over its aggressive marketing of baby foods. The boycott focuses on Nescafe coffee, but Baby Milk Action lists all major brands from which Nestlé profits. Although Nestlé sold the company to Gerber Foods Soft Drinks in 1999, it retained ownership of the brand name and so profited from sales (see our press release from the time of the sale).
Many wholefood shops, other retailers and consumers have avoided Libby's branded products rather than put money in Nestlé's coffers and will welcome the end of the link to Nestlé.
Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action, said:
“Linking with Nestlé damages a brand. In contacting us to have Libby's Juices removed from the boycott list, the makers appear to recognise this. We are pleased to remove the product from the list now the link with Nestlé is over.”
Jon Walker of wholefood supplier Out of this World said:
“Out of this World supports the boycott against all products from which Nestlé profits. We are delighted we can now stock Libby's organic juices.”
In March boycott supporters had the unwelcome news that L'Oreal, part-owned by Nestlé, was taking over the Body Shop. News that Body Shop would be linked to Nestlé has sent public support for the brand tumbling (see our press release). According to current media reports, Nestlé may become part owners of Linda McCartney vegetarian meals and boycott supporters are already complaining they will have to seek out alternatives. Last year supporters of Fairtrade had their confidence in the mark shaken with an award to a Nestlé product (see our report).
Ethical Consumer magazine, which gives an EthiScore to products indicates that Libby's Juices will now receive a higher rating. The Body Shop rating will plummet from 11.5 out of 20 to just 2 points once the L'Oreal takeover has gone through. Linda McCartney products, currently owned by Heinz, will fall from an Ethiscore of 5 to 0 (Nestlé's rating) if the world's ‘least responsible company' takes it over.
For further information contact Mike Brady, email@example.com , 01223 464420 or 07986 736179.
Ethical Consumer can be contacted on 0161 226 2929.
Jon Walker at Out of this World can be contacted on 0191 2135377.
Nestlé sold Libby's Juices to Gerber Food Soft Drinks in 1999, but retained ownership of the brand name. This has recently been sold to Corlib Brand Holding, Geneva, Switzerland, which has no links with Nestlé. Gerber Food Soft Drinks is a member of the Hanover Acceptances Group and is not connected to the Gerber baby food company.
Baby Milk Action is a not-for-profit organisation and the UK member of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). It is funded by membership fees, merchandise sales and donations, along with grants from development organisations and charitable trusts.
The boycott of Nestlé focuses on Nescafé, its flagship product, but Baby Milk Action lists the brands from which Nestlé profits so boycott supporters can avoid them all. Guardian reported on 1 September 2005: "What do Nike, Coca Cola, McDonald's and Nestlé have in common? Apart from being among the world's most well-known brands, they happen to be the most boycotted brands on the planet. That finding came from this week's global GMIPoll, an online opinion poll that surveyed 15,500 consumers in 17 countries. Nestlé emerges as the most the most boycotted brand in the UK because of what respondents consider its "unethical use and promotion of formula feed for babies in third world countries."
Nestlé won a global internet poll for the world's 'least responsible company' coinciding with the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2005. Nestlé received 29% of the votes. This was more than twice that of joint second Monsanto and Dow Chemicals (of Bhopal infamy), each on 14% ( click here for details ).
According to Brand Republic (29 March 2006): “The Body Shop's "buzz" rating has dropped 10 points to –4 since the beginning of the month, the public's "general impression" of it is down three to 19 and "satisfaction" has slumped a massive 11 points to 14.”
For information on baby food marketing malpractice see the codewatch and boycott sections.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. See the Your Questions Answered section.