Recently Nestle invited several high profile bloggers to their headquarters in Glendale, California. From their site:
Nestlé understands the importance of listening directly to parents. That’s why on September 30 and October 1, we’ve invited 20 Mom and Dad bloggers to our U.S. headquarters to learn firsthand the things that are important to them and their families, and to share a little about us and our brands. Check out what they are saying by following the conversation below from Twitter. Visit this page daily from September 23 through October 7, to learn more about them, their families, their busy lives, and to hear about their experiences at Nestlé. Check out their blogs, too
What’s interesting is that they picked a group of bloggers who would clearly support their mission, and they forgot about the others.
The others include women who believe that Nestle has a history of undermining breastfeeding in many countries. I’m not familiar with the controversy because breastfeeding was never a discussion in my home. For one child it worked for a good long time, and for another child medical reasons kept us from breastfeeding.
From PDH In Parenting:
Some illustrations of Nestle’s unethical practices include:
- Nestle has an Infant Formula Marketing Policy that it says complies with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, but its scope is much narrower, covering only infant formula (instead of all breast milk substitutes) and covering only developing countries (instead of all countries). Read more here and check out a detailed chart comparing the two here.
- Nestle invests in public relations initiatives to divert criticism, instead of making changes to bring its practices in line. Read more.
- Monitoring of the baby food industry by NGOs has found many areas where Nestle’s advertising and promotion practices violate the Code. Look here for 13 pages of illustrated and annotated examples of violations.
Nestle systematically violates its own policies as brought to light by a senior Nestle employee in Pakistan who resigned and then wrote a scathing, detailed and well-documented whistleblower report on all of the violations that were both allowed, encouraged and ordered by his superiors. He is pursuing legal action against the company. His family has been threatened.
I do look at Nestle as a whole and think “oh more junk food”, but I realize that it’s no mistake that Nestle selected who they did.
There’s a wonderful conversation happening at PhD in Parenting. She’s asking fair questions, and Nestle has yet to answer them. I’m never been a fan of processed foods, and the only thing I’ve ever bought from Nestle has been chocolate chips for baking, but the reality is that they’re not that special.
I, for one, am waiting patiently to hear more from Nestle about their marketing practices regarding infant formula.
For full background read these two articles, in this order:
[This post was written by Jessica Gottlieb.]