Nestle

Why?

Nestle, the largest food and bottled water company in the world and has several reasons to boycott:

Bottle Water

Water Grabs

Baby Formula

Child and Adult Slavery

 

Bottle Water

Nestle is the world’s largest bottled water company and the owner of brands such as Perrier and San Pellegrino.

Facts about bottle water from Food and Water Watch

  • Bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.  In addition more than half of all bottled water comes from the tap.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water. Compare $0.002 per gallon for most tap water to a range of $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon for bottled waters
  • Bottled water hurts the environment. After millions of barrels of oil are used to produce and ship plastic water bottles around the world, 75% of them land in the garbage or our waterways instead of the recycle bin.
  • Plastic water bottles often contain numerous harmful chemicals such as cancer related chemicals like BPA, hormone-altering chemicals such as phthalates, and Antimony, which in small doses can cause dizziness and depression; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and death.
  • Drinking water should be safe, accessible and affordable for all. Clean water is a basic human right and a public service, not a corporate commodity.  Bottle Water companies are trying to change this through controlling public water sources and selling what was free water to poor communities at rates they cannot afford.  Learn more about this here.

For more details about the impacts of bottle water please visit the Ban the Bottle fact page.

 

 

Learn More

Why Tap Water Is Better Than Bottled Water

Tapped – Bottle Water Documentary below

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Alternatives to Bottle Water

 

Water Grabs

Nestle is trying to build a bottling factory to bottle public spring water in Washington State, Oregon and Canada and currently has bottle water factories in countries like Pakistan and Nigeria.  Bottling factories can have huge environmental impacts and social injustices when the control of public water is given to private corporations.  In places like Pakistan and Nigeria Nestle “Pure Life” bottling factories have cause enough pollution in the water in poor villages to cause health issues and villagers can no longer drink the water.  The only safe water to drink is controlled by Nestle and has become too expensive for poor people to afford.

Learn More

Nestle in Pakistan

Follow Campaign

Petition Calls on Canadians to Boycott Nestlé Over Water Grab

Oregon County Rejects Nestle Water-Grab

Alternatives to Bottle Water

 

Baby Formula

Starting in the late 1970d Nestle intentional has been promoting their breast milk alternatives products such as baby milk formula which has contributed to unnecceasry death and suffering of infants.

According to International Baby Milk Action (IBAN)

“Nestlé promotes its baby milk around the world with the claim such as it is the ‘natural start’, ‘gentle start’ and ‘protects’ babies. In truth, babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. Nestlé has promised to drop the ‘natural start’ claim by mid-2015 following pressure from the campaign, but not the others.

The World Health Organisation says: “Globally, breastfeeding has the potential to prevent about 800,000 deaths among children under five each year if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed.” That is 11.6% of all deaths amongst children under five years old could be prevented by breastfeeding.

Expensive baby foods can also increase family poverty. Poverty is a major cause of malnutrition.  Nestlé targets pregnant women, mothers of babies and young children and health workers to promote its products and boost its sales. Nestlé also puts babies who need to be fed on formula at risk. It refuses to warn on labels that powdered formula is not sterile and may contain harmful bacteria and does not give correct instructions on how to reduce the risks – unless forced to by law (as in the UK, where it markets the SMA brand).”

IBAN is currently organizing a boycott against Nestle until they accept and comply with Baby Milk Action’s four-point plan for saving infant lives

Learn more

International Baby Milk Action (IBAN) Nestle Boycott Overview

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International Baby Milk Action (IBAN) Nestle Boycott

Child and Adult Slavery

Thailand Fish Industry Slave Labor

Recent investigations into the seafood industry in Thailand has undercovered rampant abuses of forced labour and human trafficking.  Nestle currently gets its seafood for the Fancy Feast catfood brand from Thailand suppliers accused of using slave labor.

After investigative news reports and internal investigations  tying slave labor to Nestle’s shrimp, prawns and Purina brand pet foods, in February 2016 Nestle finally admitted publically it had found forced labour in its supply chains in Thailand. Nestlé’s executive vice-president in charge of operations wrote “As we’ve said consistently, forced labour and human rights abuses have no place in our supply chain and Nestlé believes that by working with suppliers we can make a positive difference to the sourcing of ingredients.”

Nestle commission an investigative nonprofit organization Verite to investigate on their supply chain.  According to an AP article:

“Verite interviewed more than 100 people, including about 80 workers from Myanmar and Cambodia, as well as boat owners, shrimp farm owners, site supervisors and representatives of Nestle’s suppliers. They visited fish ports and fishmeal packing plants, shrimp farms and docked fishing boats, all in Thailand.

Boat captains and managers, along with workers, confirmed violence and danger in the Thai seafood sector, a booming industry which exports $7 billion of products a year, although managers said workers sometimes got hurt because they were drunk and fighting. Boat captains rarely checked ages of workers, and Verite found underage workers forced to fish. Workers said they labor without rest, their food and water are minimal, outside contact is cut off, and they are given fake identities to hide that they are working illegally.”

 

Nestle will continue to get their seafood from Thailand seafood industry.  Their efforts may reduce slave labor but few doubt they will eliminate slave labor from their supply chain.

Ivory Coast Cocoa Child Slave Labor

Although this disclosure of slavery in Nestles Thailand supply chain by one of the biggest brands in the world was a huge victory in anti-trafficking initiative, during the same time of Nestle’s admission, Nestle along with Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, were attempting to cover up child slavery in their cocoa/chocolate supply chain from Ivory Coast.

Researchers from the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which was commissioned by Nestlé to investigate workers rights on its west African farms in 2013 amid international pressure, found child workers at 7% of the farms visited.

More than 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in the region, with the majority coming from two countries: Ivory Coast and Ghana, which together produce 60% of the global total.

Nestlé has repeatedly stated its taking numerous actions to address child labor in its supply chain including increasing access to education, stepping up systems of age verification at farms and increasing awareness of the company’s own code of conduct.

A Nestlé spokesperson told the Guardian: “Unfortunately, the scale and complexity of the issue is such that no company sourcing cocoa from Ivory Coast can guarantee that it has completely removed the risk of child labour from its supply chain.”  =

According to a 2016 Fortune article:

“In early 2000s the biggest chocolate makers agreed to eradicate the worst forms of child labor, as defined by the International Labor Organization’s Convention No. 182, by July 1, 2005. The deadline for meeting the goals of the Harkin-Engel Protocol was then pushed back to 2008, then 2010—and then it was really extended. The industry is now working on its pledge in 2010 to reduce child labor in Ivory Coast and Ghana by 70% by 2020.

Unfortunately, progress has been slow—and by some measures the problem has actually gotten worse in recent years. In July 2015 the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University released the findings of a comprehensive survey of child labor in Ivory Coast and Ghana in the 2013–14 growing season. The report found that 2.1 million children had been engaged in inappropriate forms of child labor in Ivory Coast and Ghana combined—a 21% increase over the 1.75 million identified in its survey five years earlier. Of those, 96% were found to be involved in “hazardous activity.” The number of children reported to be performing dangerous tasks fell by 6% in Ghana but jumped by 46% in Ivory Coast.”

 

 

 

Brazilian Coffee Slave Labor

Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts say beans from Brazilian plantations using slave labour may have ended up in their coffee

According to a 2015 Guardian article,

“Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee, accounting for about one-third of the global market. Yet workers often face debt bondage, non-existent work contracts, exposure to deadly pesticides, lack of protective equipment, and accommodation without doors, mattresses or drinking water, the DanWatch report says. Such working conditions contravene Brazilian and international law, as well as the ethical codes Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts require from their suppliers.

Neither Nestlé nor Jacobs Douwe Egberts, which together account for 39% of the global coffee market, know the names of all the plantations that grow their coffee as they also buy beans from middlemen and exporters in a muddled supply chain, claims DanWatch.

As a result, both companies – whose brands include Nescafé, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Coffee-mate and Senseo – admit that while they do not buy beans directly from “blacklisted” plantations where human rights abuses are known to take place, they cannot rule out that slavery-like conditions may exist in their supply chain.”

According to a 2016 Guardian article:

“DanWatch spent seven months investigating the industry, speaking to farmers, experts and trade unions, inspecting plantations with Brazilian authorities, and tracing beans through a complicated supply chain from plantation to middleman to world market.

Nestlé confirmed to DanWatch that it bought coffee from two plantations where workers were rescued from forced labour by Brazilian authorities last summer.”

Learn More

Guardian: Nestlé Admits Slavery in Thailand while Fighting Child Labour Lawsuit in Ivory Coast

Fortune: Inside Big Chocolate’s Child Labor Problem

Guardian: Child Labour on Nestlé Farms: Chocolate Giant’s Problems Continue

DanWatch Investigation: Bitter Coffee

Guardian: Nestlé Admits Slave Labour Risk on Brazil Coffee Plantations

 

 

Follow Campaign

Make Chocolate Fair

Food Empowerment Project

Alternatives:

  • Buy products that don’t use slave labor
  • Buy Products with these certifications

fair-trade-logos1Guide to  Fair Trade logos – Why?

certifiedverifiedCertified vs Verified – Why?

utz-logo  Certification for coffee, cocoa, and tea – Why?

logo-landscape Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification that checks environmental and social conditions for marine farming

 

 

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List of All Nestle Products to Boycott