Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nestle Chief, Peter Brabeck, wins another award - for bad practice

News comes from Germany that Nestlé Chairman and out-going Chief Executive, Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, has received an award!

It is one of a growing cabinet of awards his has gained for unethical business practices. In 2005 Nestlé was the overwhelming winner in the public vote for unethical practices, organised by the Public Eye Awards. People also vote with their wallets - Nestlé is 'widely boycotted', according to Nestlé's Global Public Affairs Manager. See:

The latest prize is the 'Black Planet Award' from ethecon - the Foundation Ethics & Economics. Its companion awared, the 'Blue Planet Award' goes to people who have made a positive contribution to the world's well being.

Mr. Brabeck is awarded along with major Nestlé shareholder Liliane de Bettencourt.

The ethecon press release states: "This years counter-award "The Black Planet Award 2007" goes to Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (chairman of the board of directors) and to Liliane de Bettencourt, (multi-shareholder) of the NESTLÉ Corporation. This award is to pillory the Swiss multi-national for the irresponsible marketing of baby food contaminated by genetically manipulated nutrition, their tolerance of child labour and monopolisation of water resources."

You can find further information on these issues and links to supporting documentation in my blog on what Mr. Brabeck would have told shareholders back in April if he was being honest about the company's impact. See:

The award will be presented in Berlin on Saturday 1st December at the close of ethecon's conference.

Baby Milk Action will seek to raise awareness, particularly amongst investors, soon after this date. Announcements will be made using our email alert list. But will investors listen? From the way shareholders boo anyone who raises concerns about Nestlé practices at the shareholder meeting and Mr. Brabeck refuses to even respond to the issues, it is not a sympathetic audience. See:

The ethical award will be presented on ths same date. According to the press release:

---Blue Planet award press release
This year, ethecon, Foundation for Ethics and Economy, will present Vandana Shiva, notable quantum physicist, ecological and civil rights activist with the "Blue Planet Award". This prize is awarded yearly to a person especially dedicated to the preservation of our planet.

Not just recently has Vandana Shiva become more than a symbolic figurehead of those striving for a better and more just world. Originally known for her fight for the rights of indigenous Indians she has achieved world-wide fame for placing the feminist perspective on the ecological agenda. Among other things she is fighting an ardent struggle against the pirate practices of multi-national corporations for the preservation of safe seeds and against genetically manipulated seeds. In addition she has incepted strategies for global sustenance, diversity and fair trading. She is well-know in the peace and democracy movements, as her recent activities in Burma underline.
---quote ends

For a reminder of Nestlé's activities in Burma see:

The news of the shaming award comes as Mr. Brabeck announces above target organic growth in company sales. He states: "The Group's strong organic growth continued over the third quarter, reflecting good performances across most product categories. In spite of increasing input cost pressures, I remain confident that Nestlé will achieve above-target organic growth and a sustainable margin improvement for 2007 as a whole, once again demonstrating the strength of the Nestlé model."

The Nestlé model is, of course, to put profits before infant health, the environment, labour rights and human rights.

Well done, Mr. Brabeck.

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