Friday, June 06, 2008

The Queen's Shredded Wheat

The Food Magazine (issue 81) has highlighted that the British Royal Family have awarded their coats of arms to some questionable companies. You can access the magazine for a fee here:

Here is a report picking up on the story in the UK Daily Telegraph.

On the list of companies with a royal warrant is our friend Nestlé and Nestlé Purina. You can search the directory at:

Companies become eligible : "By supplying products or services on a regular basis to: The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales – for not less than five years. Suppliers to The Prince of Wales also have to demonstrate that they have a sustainable environmental policy and action plan."

So does this mean that Her Majesty The Queen eats shredded wheat or gives the corgis winalot? No. The Telegraph reports a Buckingham Palace spokesman saying: "Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition that a trade organisation has supplied the Royal household to its satisfaction. It doesn't necessarily mean that that particular product [bearing the coat of arms] has been used by the Queen."

It may be worth sending a message to the Queen's office asking if it would not be possible to apply some sort of ethical criteria, perhaps following ethical investment indices, such as FTSE4Good - Nestlé does not meet the policy nor the practice criteria to be listed due to its lack of respect for the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods.

Royal Warrants are actually awarded by the Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household.

The Queen does know something of this issue. Our Policy Director, Patti Rundall, had a brief moment to explain our work to Her Majesty when she was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal for 'services to infant nutrition' in the Millenium Honours List.

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