Monday, May 31, 2010

Nestle sponsorship of BlogHer Conference starts to go wrong for most-boycotted company

The Nestlé boycott works its magic again as sponsorship of the BlogHer conference by its Stouffer brand comes under scrutiny. The Conference is due to take place in New York in the United States (6 - 7 August). Ironically, this came to my attention by a posting on a blog by someone defending her decision to attend Nestlé's parenting-blogger event in California in October 2009, which led to a first-class public relations disaster on Twitter, the social networking site. Nestlé has an abysmal image in cyberspace and is trying to improve this. As debate rages over whether bloggers should attend the Conference and what they can do there to support the campaign if they do, some thoughts come to my mind, which I will share here. It is very welcome to see people taking a stand, but the fact that Nestlé is contributing to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies around the world is an uncomfortable fact to face if you are someone who loves a particular product or want to accept its largesse. Accordingly, facing the facts is generally avoided in the arguments for not taking a stand.

While some bloggers in this debate are dismissive of the boycott as a strategy, there are two groups of people who have no doubt as to its importance: Nestlé executives and campaigners.

According to Nestlé's Global Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Gayle Crozier-Willi, Nestlé is widely boycotted. In fact, an independent survey by GMIPoll found it is one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet, the most boycotted in the UK, where Baby Milk Action is based. For executives, the boycott ranges between being an irritant to an unavoidable problem to be dealt with, depending on the day and the forum. Our job as campaigners is to move it to the right end of this spectrum, because that is when we see change. For example, Nestlé refused to translate the labels of baby milks into the national language in countries such as Malawi until we got the issue onto national television - then they rushed out translated labels. When we held national demonstrations in the UK, picked up by Swiss television, Nestlé announced it would stop promoting complementary foods from too early an age. When boycotters have contacted Nestlé over specific examples of malpractice, such as leaflets claiming Nestlé formula 'counteracts diarrhoea', Nestlé has said it would replace them. In our current campaign against Nestlé's new global strategy claiming its formula 'protects' babies (see youtube clip below), Nestlé has already taken action over point-of-sale display of tins, after we exposed that Nestlé's distribution system was allowing such things to go ahead, despite Nestlé's published policy saying they are not permitted. In the following clip, I take on the role of Mr. Nastie to explain Nestlé's baby milk marketing strategy.

With enough pressure we will persuade Nestlé to remove its 'protect' logos from labels of baby milk - send a message here. At the shareholder meeting in April 2010, Richard Laube, Chief Executive of Nestlé Nutrition, defended the practice when we raised it and admitted the strategy has been rolled out in 120 countries.  Nestlé knows that babies fed on its formula are more likely to become sick and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die, but it puts its own profits first. Not only is there no justification for such an irresponsible strategy, it is a clear violation of Article 9.2 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which Nestlé claims to respect, which states: "Neither the container nor the label should have pictures of infants, nor should they have other pictures or text which may idealise the use of infant formula." [emphasis added]

This is only one concern amongst many, but it is particularly harmful as it undermines the message that breastfeeding protects babies. With enough mobilisation, we will stop it as we have stopped other outrageous practices. You can find out more and take action here:

Now, in the debate about the BlogHer conference, there is a phenomena that I have noticed before when Nestlé sponsorship is involved: there is a distinct lack of engagement on the actual issue of Nestlé marketing practices and an unwillingness to look at the evidence. So people will say things like, 'it is recycled old news'.  Well, there have been problems with Nestlé for over a hundred years, but anyone paying attention knows we are talking about things Nestlé is doing RIGHT NOW.

Some say that it is a simple fact of life that it takes money to organise events and any sponsor could be criticised by someone, so just take the money and do good with it. Which brings to mind the stance taken by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, which has refused sponsorship by Nestlé or any other company involved in infant nutrition since 1997, taking the view that it was better to pay for their own meals than compromise their independence. The Academy argued against all such sponsorship for health workers and this was introduced in legislation in 2003 - legislation Nestlé is accused of breaking. The World Health Assembly, made up of the world's health ministries, has also adopted Resolutions calling for conflicts of interest in sponsorship of health workers and health programmes to be avoided.

The stance taken in India has an impact on sales - and breastfeeding rates. The industry analysts, Euromonitor, stated in their report on the market in 2008: "The huge disparity in the retail value of milk formula sales between China and India is mainly due to the significant differences between their official regulatory regimes.” The action by paediatricians to protect infant health is reflected in other measures. Euromonitor notes: “In India, all advertising is prohibited, while in China, TV advertising and the use of celebrity spokespeople are allowed.”

If the Indian Academy of Paediatrics can find other ways to hold its meetings, surely it is not beyond the imagination of bloggers in the US to put in place an ethical funding policy for their events?

With regards the boycott, every little helps and the way we promote it is intended to make it as easy to support as possible. We target Nestlé's flagship product, Nescafé, while publishing a list of major brands so people can avoid the whole lot, which obviously has more impact. We produce 'Nescafé - No Thanks' cards that people can leave where Nescafé is sold requesting an alternative option.

We promote International Nestlé-Free Week at the end of October (encompassing Halloween, which is a big chocolate event in some countries) so that people who do not usually boycott can be asked to avoid Nestlé products during that week. Those that normally only boycott Nescafé are asked to boycott all of them for the week. So when people say they have been given pause for thought because Nestlé makes such and such a product, that is not an argument for doing nothing, but an excuse.

In the BlogHer debate, some are saying that those who support the boycott should not go to the Conference. Everyone has to make up their own mind - Baby Milk Action certainly doesn't dictate. There is a difference between speakers who will be seen to endorse Nestlé if they share a platform with company spokespeople or are surrounded by branding and someone who sits in the audience to listen, learn and perhaps question.

Nestlé sponsorship provides an opportunity for campaigners and it is valid to attend to raise awareness and question Nestlé's involvement. Do not forget that following the Twitter disaster last year, Nestlé is embarking on a strategy to improve its image in cyberspace and sponsoring bloggers and their events is part of that strategy - people need to be alerted to how they are being used.

Nestlé is already reportedly paying celebrities US$10,000 per Tweet to say nice things about the company. It is worth recalling that when Mark Thomas, a British comedian and investigative reporter, was putting together an exposé of Nestlé for his television programme, they went digging through his past looking for any links with the company. Mark obtained company documents including his name using the data protection act and found a memo saying that if Nestlé could find he had advertised a company product they could attack him for hypocrisy for speaking out. You can see Mark's first programme on Nestlé on youtube.

Some people are saying it would be hypocritical for boycotters to attend the BlogHer event. There is a difference between an event organised by Nestlé (like its blogger event last year) and an event where the organisers have accepted Nestlé sponsorship, where we might hope to persuade the organisers to either get out of the arrangement or put in place a policy to prevent a repetition. Baby Milk Action has attended health worker events sponsored by baby food companies so we can gather material, take photographs, speak to other attendees and put the case to organisers that the action of the companies is not appropriate.

Handing out leaflets inside an event can be effective - and I will gladly help to make any leaflets for the BlogHer event legally bomb proof. Alternatively, or in addition, picketing events with placards and politely offering leaflets to those entering means that Nestlé's sponsorship is turned against it. And campaigners should always be polite, because even a few unpleasant comments will be used to suggest all campaigners are 'hateful' and provide an excuse for avoiding the real issues.

The dilemma for speakers reminds me of the situation Stephen Lewis, then Executive Deputy Director of UNICEF, found himself in when invited to be the key-note speaker at a nutrition event in Canada, only to find later it was sponsored by Nestlé and other formula companies.

He decided it would have more impact to attend and raise the unethical behaviour of the companies in his speech and say he thought their sponsorship of the event was inappropriate. See:

A few year’s ago we handed letters to Members of Parliament, church and business leaders and other VIP guests as they entered a prestige Nestlé event, called its ‘development lecture’ – that year on the theme of malnutrition. This provided an opportunity for the guests to put the issues we raised direct to the CEO of Nestlé (UK). You may have heard Nestlé say it likes people to put questions – but they cancelled the event the following year because they didn't want to be questioned:

To bring it up to date, we have a share in Nestlé to attend the shareholder meeting to raise questions directly with the board of directors before other shareholders and also organise events on Nestlé’s doorstep. As the film clip above shows, although the boycott stops some malpractice, the company is always coming up with new ways to undermine breastfeeding to boost sales of its baby milk – the latest being its claim that its formula ‘protects’ babies:

Even if people do not want to support the boycott, they can still send a message to Nestlé via the above link asking the company to stop claiming its baby milk 'protects' babies.

It just takes a click.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Send a message to Nestle and spread the word

All postings regarding Nestlé's marketing of baby milk were censored at the company's Creating Shared Value Forum yesterday, so with the management refusing to engage with the public, we need to increase the number of messages going to Nestlé. Baby Milk Action is making this easier with new features on our new-look website.

You will find you can now easily share links to pages of interest with your friends. Try it out on our new film clip about Nestlé's strategy of promoting baby milk with the claim that it 'protects' babies, even though it knows babies fed on baby milk are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. The page includes a form for sending a message to Nestlé calling for it to stop this practice. See:

When you've sent your message, why not pass on the link using the 'share this link' feature on you'll find on the site (left column), or the link at the bottom of the page, where you can add a personalised message. You can also share pages on Facebook.

People left comments on Nestlé's Facebook page yesterday while its Creating Shared Value event was taking place as comments posted to the discussion board, where Nestlé invited the public to engage with the company, did not get past the moderators. None of the questions were put to the panel at the associated event in London, which became a Public Relations coup for Nestlé as speakers spoke of their work in development in front of the Nestlé brand name.

The volume of messages about its baby milk marketing did at least prompt moderators to acknowledge people had been sending them and respond with links to Nestlé's policy statements and an offer to send its audit reports. However, Nestlé's policy statements and misleading audits are amongst the things people complain about - hence, Nestlé's refusal to post the actual comments people were making.

Nestlé's Creating Shared Value reports are also an attempt to Greenwash the company and divert criticism of its negative impact on babies, people and the environment. Past reports have been analysed by the Nestlé Critics, but there was no-one at the event to challenge Nestlé's portrayal of itself. So let's spread the word ourselves and plan for a demonstration at the event next year so the voices of those who Nestlé wishes to pretend do not exist will be heard.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

LIVE 27 May - Nestlé Forum in London

Nestle is hosting a Forum in London today 27 May - broadcast on the internet - about its Creating Shared Value strategy. Nestle portrays itself as a model of ethical behaviour, driven by its values. Yet the claims it makes and reports it produces are very misleading.

Choose your way of putting questions about Nestle's pushing of baby milk and other issues to Nestlé and panellists. See the links at the bottom for sources of information about ongoing Nestlé malpractice, which shows Nestlé Creating Shared Value strategy is meaningless PR intended to divert criticism so it can carry on boosting profits while others count the cost.

How to put your questions - choose your method

Watch Nestle Forum webcast live and post comments:

Post comments to Twitter at:

Post comments to Facebook at:

Post comments to Nestle Forum discussion board:

Concerns about Nestlé

Watch Mr. Henry Nastie, spoof marketing guru, explain the truth about Nestlé baby milk marketing at:

Nestlé's misleading Creating Shared Value reports exposed:

live nestle forum

Nestle is hosting a Forum in London today 27 May - broadcast on the internet - about its Creating Shared Value strategy. Nestle portrays itself as a model of ethical behaviour, driven by its values. Yet the claims it makes and reports it produces are very misleading.

Choose your way of putting questions about Nestle's pushing of baby milk and other issues to Nestlé and panellists. See the links at the bottom for sources of information about ongoing Nestlé malpractice, which shows Nestlé Creating Shared Value strategy is meaningless PR intended to divert criticism so it can carry on boosting profits while others count the cost.

How to put your questions - choose your method

Watch Nestle Forum webcast live and post comments:

Post comments to Twitter at:

Post comments to Facebook at:

Post comments to Nestle Forum discussion board:

Concerns about Nestlé

Watch Mr. Henry Nastie, spoof marketing guru, explain the truth about Nestlé baby milk marketing at:

Nestlé's misleading Creating Shared Value reports exposed:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Film clip: Nestle latest baby milk marketing strategy explained

The following talk by Mr. Henry Nastie, spoof marketing guru, was recorded outside Nestlé (UK) HQ on 22 May 2010. References for the information in the film are given below.

Mr. Henry Nastie was played by Mike Brady of Baby Milk Action. Other people interviewed were campaign supporters who had come to demonstrate at Nestlé (UK) HQ.

For a suggested letter to send to Nestlé, see the Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet.

On 26 and 27 May it is possible to post questions and comments about Nestlé's business practices to its Creating Shared Value open forum. See:

Support Baby Milk Acton's Make a Mark campaign.


1. Nestlé is the most boycotted company in the UK and one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet according to a 2005 survey by GMIPoll, reported in The Guardian newspaper on 1 September 2005. Nestlé is the target of a boycott because monitoring by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds Nestlé, the market leader, to be the worst of the baby food companies. The boycott has forced Nestlé to make changes - see some examples here. In the case of Malawi, in the past Nestlé refused to translate the required warnings into Chichewa, the national language, citing 'cost restraints'. It backed down after Baby Milk Action targeted this and Mark Thomas exposed Nestlé on his national television programme in 1999 - watch on youtube.

2. Nestlé claims it has reissued its instructions to distributors regarding prohibition of point-of-sale display of formula after Baby Milk Action contacted it about the display in a rural area of Malawi shown in the film. Not only does the display reveal that Nestlé systems are failing, it suggests that distributors may see no risk in promoting formula with the 'protect' logo even in the poorest of conditions if they believe it will 'protect' babies. Under-5 mortality in Malawi is 140 per 1,000 live births.

3. Nestlé (UK) HQ is in Croydon. Campaigners demonstrate every year on the anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.

4. According to UNICEF: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year" and "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute." The 2003 WHO/Lancet Child Survival Series asked 'How many child deaths can we prevent this year?' and concluded that 1.3 million under-5 deaths in the 42 countries where most occur could be prevented by improved breastfeeding rates. See Your Questions Answered. According to WHO (2006): "The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding rank among the most effective interventions to improve child survival. It is estimated that high coverage of optimal breastfeeding practices could avert 13% of the 10.6 million deaths of children under five years occurring globally every year. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life is particularly beneficial, and infants who are not breastfed in the first month of life may be as much as 25 times more likely to die than infants who are exclusively breastfed."

5. Baby Milk Action contacted Nestlé about its 'Protect' logos in July 2009 and asked members of the public to do the same, using its Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet. Nestlé posted a public response to its website in October 2009 following the public campaign and responded to Baby Milk Action after being reported to the UN Global Compact Office for breaching its principles. Nestlé defends the logos. A full analysis is available here.

6. The UN Global Compact Office has said it can do nothing of the violations of its principles other than encourage 'dialogue'. It also stated: "Of course, abuses of the 10 Principles do occur; however we believe that such abuses only indicate that it is important for the company to remain in the Compact and learn from its mistakes." Nestlé uses its involvement in the UN Global Compact in its Public Relations campaigns to try to divert criticism. Baby Milk Action also reported Nestlé over the 'protect' logos to the Swiss Government department responsible for enforcing the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Swiss Government also said it was unwilling to do anything other than promote 'dialogue'. Baby Milk Action asked it to request samples of the latest baby milk labels from the countries where the formula has been launched - it refused to do so and said it was closing the case. Further details here.

7. Baby Milk Action raised the 'protect' marketing campaign and other issues at the Nestlé shareholder meeting on 15 April 2010. Mr. Richard Laube, Chief Executive of Nestlé Nutrition, defended the logos and said they had been launched in 120 countries.

8. Nestlé's Global Public Affairs Manager, Dr. Gayle Crozier-Willi, said in correspondence with Baby Milk Action on 14 January 2010:

Nestlé makes significant investment in R&D and technology to deliver innovative products with scientifically proven nutritional benefits in many different areas. Concerning the 'Protect' logo, while all our infant nutrition products meet the needs of non-breastfed babies during the first critical months of life, the functional benefits that are encapsulated in the 'Protect' logo are the result of many years of intensive research on how best to improve the nutritional composition to stimulate the infant's immune system. The logo helps distinguish this particular formula from other less advanced products but does not claim in any manner that infant formula is superior to breast milk.

The 'proven' nature of the claims is disputed by independent reviewers (see below). In addition, all idealizing claims are prohibited by Article 9.2 of the International Code, which states:

Neither the container nor the label should have pictures of infants, nor should they have other pictures or text which may idealise the use of infant formula. [emphasis added]

The colourful logo, which says 'Protect Start' on the infant formula for use from birth and 'Protect Plus' on the follow-on formula for use from 6 months and the terms DHA, ARA, Opti-Pro and Bifodigenic effect. Analysis:

• DHA and ARA are Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids LCPUFAs. According to the respected Cochrane Library: "It has been suggested that low levels of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) found in formula milk may contribute to lower IQ levels and vision skills in term infants. Some milk formulas with added LCPUFA are commercially available. This review found that feeding term infants with milk formula enriched with LCPUFA had no proven benefit regarding vision, cognition or physical growth."

• Bifodigenic effect appears to be suggesting the formula contains an oligosaccharide - sometimes marketed as 'prebiotics' - (breastmilk contains over 100) to promote bacteria growth and provide protection against allergies. The Cochrane Library concluded a review: "There is insufficient evidence to recommend the addition of prebiotics to infant feeds for prevention of allergic disease or food reactions."

• Opti-Pro implies a benefit for eyes (until recently, Nestlé owned marketed Opti-Free contact lens solutions) or 'Optimum Protein', itself an idealising claim. Nestlé's Dr. Crozier-Willi, said in her letter of 14 January 2010:

The logo 'Opti-pro' does not refer to eye development at all, rather it refers to an optimised mix of milk proteins which when ingested, results in the infant having a blood amino acid composition which closely resembles that of an infant on breast milk. This represents quite an advance in the application of technology to superior nutrition and is explained in detail in the scientific information that we share with health professionals.

Article 7.2 of the International Code states: "Information provided by manufacturers and distributors to health professionals regarding products within the scope of this Code should be restricted to scientific and factual matters, and such information should not imply or create a belief that bottle feeding is equivalent or superior to breastfeeding."

9. All of Baby Milk Action's posters had been removed from outside Nestlé (UK) HQ when it returned to remove them itself after packing up after the demonstration. Nestlé representatives, though generally calm and collected in public (unlike Mr. Nastie), are aggressive in trying to remove criticism. For example, Baby Milk Action was threatened with legal action by Nestlé prior to the launch of the Nestlé Critics website during International Nestlé-Free Week in 2008 - click here. In March 2010, Nestlé forced youtube to remove a Greenpeace film clip exposing the harm caused by the company's sourcing of palm oil - click here. Nestlé has also been accused of spying on campaigners in Switzerland - click here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How Nestle spins when it gives into campaigners' demands - Greenpeace campaign update

Greenpeace is reporting that Nestlé has agreed to all of its demands regarding its sourcing of palm oil from suppliers accused of destroying Indonesian rainforest to produce it. Nestlé had earlier resisted calls to change its policies and practices and received many thousands of messages and Greenpeace campaigners dropped in - literally - on its shareholder meeting in Switzerland last April. From our own success in holding Nestlé to account, we know that its Public Relations team will be swinging into action to portray this as 'Nestlé taking the lead' - ignoring the great efforts campaigners have had to go to and using its climb down to divert attention from other concerns about it awful management behaviour.

Nestle Code Action reportWe have several examples from the Baby Milk Action campaign we can cite. For example, we campaigned for three years over Nestlé's refusal to translate labels into the national language of the country where they were sold and prompted Nestlé to review its labels after getting this onto national UK television (The Mark Thomas Product).

This was portrayed by Nestlé in its 'Code Action Report' (left) as if it was unilaterally taking action. While it did indeed put out new labels in Malawi, one of the examples cited, these were rejected by the Government as inadequate. Although they have since been changed, Nestlé has added a logo claiming its formula 'protects' babies, when in truth babies fed on it are more likely to become sick and, in conditions of poverty as exist in Malawi, are more likely to die. This is the target of a current Baby Milk Action campaign - click here to send a message to Nestlé.

So don't be surprised if Nestlé puts out statements and pamphlets about it tightening its requirements for sourcing palm oil - without acknowledging it was forced to do so. Greenpeace is right to say that Nestlé must be closely monitored to see if it delivers on its undertaking.

In another example, we campaigned for 9 years to force Nestlé to accept a 1994 World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution saying that complementary feeding should be fostered from 6 months of age - Nestlé routinely promoted such foods for use from 4 months of age or even less. It took bringing the Resolution into law and policies in many countries, further Resolutions at the Assembly and, finally, national demonstrations in the UK to prompt change. During the course of the week of demonstrations in 2003, which were filmed by Swiss television, Nestlé contacted Baby Milk Action to say it was accepting the WHA Resolutions - but again it spun this as Nestlé 'taking the lead', the headline in the 7th edition of its 'Code Action Report', shown left. Again, it has not lived up to its claim to change its practices and continues to push complementary foods from too early an age. A recent example was given on the PhDinParenting blog a couple of weeks ago.

Nestlé's Code Action Report has a curious history - Nestlé launched it in October 1999, with the claim:

"This is the first edition of a monthly report, issued by Nestlé to interested parties around the world, which is designed to be a reliable and authoritative source of information on implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, including its Aims, Principles and Articles.

"This new initiative is intended to encourage meaningful dialogue with all interested parties concerned with infant feeding and nutrition, the encouragement of breast-feeding and the promotion of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes."

Baby Milk Action took Nestlé at its word and entered into this 'dialogue' - as a result Nestlé had to publish corrections and apologies in subsequent issues of the Code Action Report, including a full-page right-to-reply from Baby Milk Action after it disputed our evidence regarding its use of community health workers to promote baby milks in the Philippines. It apologised to the Danish and other governments in the pages of the report for misrepresenting letters Nestlé claimed were official verification that it was abiding by the Code and Resolutions. For full analysis of this PR disaster surrounding these letters, see our 1999 briefing, Don't Judge a Book by its Cover.

So Nestlé decided that 'meaningful dialogue' was not such a good idea. The sequence of 'monthly' Code Action Reports, posted to Nestlé's anti-boycott website, are as follows:

Number 1: October 1999

Number 2: November 1999

Number 3: January 2000

Number 4: April 2000 (They are starting to come a little more slowly now)

Number 5: August 2000 (Now more than a year to wait..)

Number 6: October 2001 (And if you can believe it, an even longer wait..)

Number 7: June 2003 .. the newest edition on the site - no new report for nearly 7 years!

We are not alone in finding that when Nestlé backs down it tries to spin this to its own advantage.

In 2003 Oxfam launched a campaign against Nestlé's attempt to extract US$ 6 million from the Ethiopian Government at a time the country was experiencing famine. The compensation claim related to a factory that had been nationalised 27 years before, prior to Nestlé owning the company that had owned the factory. The Government offered US$ 1.5 million compensation, but Nestlé tried an accounting trick to increase this four-fold. Its Global Head of Communications, Francois Perroud, went on the radio claiming it was in the Government's interest to settle if it was to attract future investment. People sent messages and packs of rice to Nestlé and eventually it agreed to settle for US$ 1.5 million and donate this to initiatives in Ethiopia (history here). But Nestlé has no shame - the following year, when the Guardian newspaper reported that Breakthrough Breast Cancer had refused a £1 million donation from Nestlé on ethical grounds, Nestlé sent a letter to the newspaper dismissing criticism of its baby food marketing and claimed it was a force for good in the world, citing the donation made to Ethiopia - of course, it did not mention that that the donation came about not because of Nestlé altruism, but because of campaign protest. In addition, Nestlé's Chairman has made it very clear that any donations to good causes have to benefit shareholders.

Nestle claims its formula protectsSo well done to everyone who campaigned on Nestlé's sourcing of palm oil. The company needs to be monitored to see it it delivers. Greenpeace is now moving on to target another company in its palm oil campaign.

Those who are concerned about Nestlé practices should not be misled if Nestlé now claims to be taking the lead on palm oil - this is a PR response and it has not changed its business ethos. Continued pressure is need to stop it claiming its baby milk 'protects' babies and other malpractice. Click here to send a message to Nestlé. The Greenpeace victory - as with our past victories - show that if we make enough noise, then Nestlé will judge it is in its own best interests to change.

You can help to make some noise by demonstrating at Nestlé UK (HQ) in Croydon on 22 May 11:00 - 12:00 or another Nestlé site or location where Nestlé products are sold. For further information on this and other future events, see our Diary Dates page.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Making a mark in the UK General Election

I've just sent out a press release with the news that the Liberal Democrats have pledged their support to our campaign to protect infant health. We have asked the parties vying for power in the UK General Election to pledge to work for the implementation of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements in the UK and support these minimum standards internationally. The Green Party and Scottish Green Party have also made this pledge. We wrote to all party leaders as part of our Make a Mark in 2010 activities.

The Liberal Democrats have sometimes been in second place in polling in the lead up to the vote, which takes place on 6 May and may hold the balance of power if no party wins an outright majority. The Scottish Green Party is already represented in the Scottish Parliament and the Greens are hoping to enter the UK Parliament at this election. We are still waiting for position statements from the other parties.

You can find out more from the press release - where you can also download a leaflet including the pledge. If you are in the UK, ask candidates in your constituency to make the pledge. See: