Groups around the world declare 2-8 July International Nestlé-Free Week
Campaign aims to raise awareness of company’s aggressive marketing of baby foods
Event announcement 2 July 2007
Campaign groups around the world promoting the Nestlé boycott have declared the week 2-8 July to be International Nestlé-Free Week. Nestlé is one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet over its aggressive marketing of baby foods in breach of international standards, and campaigners are calling for those who are not already supporting to the boycott to do so at least for this week. They are also calling on people who boycott Nestlé’s principal brands to avoid all Nestlé products for this week. Coordinators aim to increase the pressure on Nestlé to accept the four-point plan put to it for saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott and expect other countries to mark the week in future years.
The week has been chosen as 4 July marks the 30th anniversary of the first Nestlé boycott campaign. The first boycott resulted in the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes being adopted by the World Health Assembly and a promise from Nestlé to abide by its provisions. The boycott was resumed when Nestlé failed to live up to its promises. Monitoring by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds Nestlé continues to be responsible for more violations of the Code and subsequent, relevant Resolutions than any other company, singling it out for boycott action.
The second boycott has been launched by groups in 20 countries. Those promoting International Nestlé-Free Week in this, its first year, include:
Cameroon : Coordinators Cameroon Link.
Canada : Coordinators INFACT-Canada.
Italy : Coordinators RIBN.
Philippines: Coordinators ARUGAAN.
Sweden : Coordinators NAFIA.
United Kingdom : Coordinators Baby Milk Action.
Campaign activities in different countries include demonstrations in Italy, media campaigns in Cameroon and Sweden, the launch of new boycott merchandise in the UK and appeals for boycotters to call Nestlé customer service lines in Canada and the UK.
See Baby Milk Action's Campaigns Coordnator's blog for regular updates.
Right: one of a new range of reusable cotton shopping bags being launched by Baby Milk Action. Click here for details.
Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator of Baby Milk Action said:
“The boycott helps to hold the worst of the baby food companies to account, alongside our work bringing in legislation. But Nestlé has not yet made the required changes and has rejected our four-point plan aimed at saving lives and ultimately ending the boycott. We hope many people will take action during this week and beyond to increase the pressure on Nestlé.”
For further information call 01223 464420 (int: +44 1223 464420) or 07986 736179 or see
http://archive.babymilkaction.org/resources/boycott/nestlefree.html (includes images).
Notes for editors
A photo archive is available at:
Baby Milk Action is launching Fairtrade cotton, reusable shopping bags with Nestlé-boycott messages. Available in the on-line Virtual Shop.
Nestlé is the target of the boycott as independent monitoring finds it is responsible for more violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions than any other 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 ).
- 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.
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.
Nestlé is one of the companies targeted by Baby Milk Action November 2006 Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet, over its attempts to undermine legislation introduced in the Philippines to regulate the marketing of baby foods.