Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nestle children's book prize ends following protests by authors

The Nestlé Children's Book Prize in the UK has come to an end by mutual agreement between Nestlé and the Booktrust.

As you may recall, last month Gold Medal winner, Sean Taylor, publicly refused the Nestlé prize cheque, citing concerns over Nestlé's baby food marketing practices. Other authors have spoken out against Nestlé's involvement in past years.

See our press release at:

Now the business website,, is reporting that the Nestlé Children's Book Prize has come to an end after 23 years.

The report says Booktrust was reviewing its priorities.

The report also says: "Nestlé explained that it was increasingly moving its community support towards nutrition, health and wellness issues."

That would be schemes promoting unhealthy cereals in schools ('box tops for education') and trying to divert attention from its role in promoting junk food to children by sponsoring projects on obesity.

In 2006 Nestlé ended its sponsorship of the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, also after more than 20 years and bad publicity from an artists boycott. Then too it neglected to mention this. An alternative sponsor was quickly found. See:

A few years ago the Booktrust bowed to protests from authors over proposed Nestlé sponsorship for a teenage book prize and found a different sponsor.

I have left the following comment at:

Curious that neither Nestle nor the Book Trust refer to the bad publicity having a sponsor which is one of the most boycotted companies on the planet for practices that endanger children. Nestlé's own Global Public Affairs Manager admits Nestlé is 'widely boycotted', targeted over its aggressive marketing of baby foods in breach of international standards.

Gold Medal Winner, Sean Taylor, refused the Nestlé cheque at the last award ceremony and made his concerns public. So well done to him and everyone else who has helped to raise awareness of Nestlé malpractice and show that the company is not an appropriate sponsor until it changes its baby food marketing practices and addresses other concerns.

Mike Brady,
Baby Milk Action

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