Nestle in India is up to something – and has latched on to the UN 1000 days initiative (along with Times of India) to improve baby health and I can’t help but wonder why. I’ve been a Nestle boycotter for 4 solid years now. As in I don’t buy Kit-Kat or Hot Pockets (well they’re also not healthy). In India I have continued this – I don’t buy Nescafe (most popular coffee is Nestle Instant here instead I buy a brand called Bru – it tastes better as well). Basically I don’t buy anything Nestle. My kid’s know this as well. They see Maggi noodles and I say “sorry its Nestle” and they don’t ask twice.
Nestle has a poor history, especially in India.
I’ve written in the past about a job posting I saw in which Nestle was searching for sales – I mean nutrition officers. Now breast milk substitutes (formula) has a time and place – but poor people who live on $3 a day and do not have access to clean water are not those people. Thus I didn’t understand their call for science-sales people to go and chat up doctors in rural areas. As we know it is against the World Health Organisation’s code for marketing of breast milk substitutes to distribute (directly or indirectly (ie via hospitals or doctors) samples to pregnant women. We know this is common practice in the US, but few fail to realize it is actually against the code to have coupons and special displays as well. It also says specifically, personnel employed in marketing products in this scope (ie formula) should not
“perform educational functions in relation to pregnant women or mothers of infants and young children”
Nestle is still guilty of these parts AND so many others. Now here’s the thing, the WHO isn’t a “law” but it is a Code that has valid points. Here we are in the midst of World Breastfeeding Week and Nestle has a front page advertising with babies. Now they are saying breastfeeding = strong babies, but they’re still Nestle and they still are looking to gain buyers. They’re still known to “green” their image.
So here’s one shot from a recent advertisement the Times of India where Nestle is supporting breastfeeding. Is this something they are choosing to do for image-sake or is this something that they’re being required to do due to past regulation skirting? I can’t help but wonder.