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Demonstrations at Nestlé and Body Shop 11:00-12:00

Take the Nestlé challenge in Croydon

Leafleting at Body Shop from Glasgow to Bournemouth, Cambridge to Liverpool. Covent Garden - London.

Event 20 May 2006

Pictures (contact Baby Milk Action for permission to reproduce these photos - details below. More pictures coming soon).

Nestle (Croydon) - pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4.

Body Shop Bournemouth - pic 1.

Body Shop Gothenburg (Goteborg Sweden) - pic 1, pic 2, pic 3.

Supporters of the Nestlé boycott, who are calling on the company to market its baby foods in accordance with World Health Assembly standards, will be gathering outside Nestlé (UK) HQ in Croydon from 11:00 – 12:00 on Saturday 20 May 2006. Nestlé continues to reject a four-point plan aimed at protecting infant health and ultimately ending the boycott. This year's petition has over 5,000 signatures.

Campaigners will also be leafleting outside Body Shop outlets in various towns as it is being taken over by L'Oreal, in which Nestlé has a 26.4% stake (click here for Dame Anita Roddick's response to this action).

Nestlé is one of the four most boycotted companies in the world, according to GMIPoll and the most boycotted in the UK.

Monitoring by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds Nestlé to be responsible for more violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the Assembly than any other company. The Code will be 25 years old on 21 May, an event being marked at the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva during the week of 22 May.

Outside the Nestlé (UK) Croydon HQ members of the public will be invited to ‘Take the Nestlé Challenge'. Genuine Nestlé promotional materials will be used to show how the company idealizes its products and undermines breastfeeding.

The challenge is to mix up a bottle under the conditions experienced by mothers living in poor conditions – having to fetch water from a distance in a bucket, gather firewood and follow instructions in the wrong language.

Click here for a hi-resolution version for printing.
Click here for an alternative image.
Images from the events will be available shortly afterwards.

Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action, which coordinates the boycott, which has been launched by groups in 20 countries said:

“According to the World Health Organisation 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not adequately breastfed. Mothers need independent advice on infant feeding, not company propaganda. Breastfeeding protects infants in all countries. Where there is poor sanitation, unsafe water or lack of access to health care, breastfeeding is a life saver. This year we are highlighting the conditions experienced by mothers living in poverty, recalling that, according to studies published in The Lancet, breastfeeding could prevent more under-5 deaths than providing sanitation, safe water and vaccination. In addition, promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is one of the most effective immediate actions governments can take to counter the obesity pandemic.”

You can listen to recent interviews with boycott supporters and IBFAN members across Europe by clicking here.

For further information contact Tel: 01223 464420 Mobile: 07986 736179.

Notes for editors

  1. The demonstrations on 20 May mark the 25 anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by the World Health Assembly. Nestlé is the target of the boycott as independent monitoring finds it is responsible for more violations of the Code and subsequnet, relevant Resolutions than any other company.

  2. 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.

  3. 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."

  4. 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 ).

  5. For information on baby food marketing malpractice see the codewatch and boycott sections of this website. The Corporate Watch website has a detailed report on Nestlé.

  6. 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.

  7. Nestlé's 49% stake in holding company Gesperal, which controlled L'Oreal, became a direct holding of 26.4% in L'Oreal in 2004.

Baby Milk Action's Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Mike Brady, will be inviting people to "Take the Nestlé Challenge" in Croydon.

Click here for a hi-resolution version for printing.


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