Wednesday

Call for Nestlé to be expelled from UN initiative

As you may recall, Nestlé attempted to hi-jack the Nestlé Critics site shortly before its launch. The site serves as a portal for information on various aspects of Nestlé malpractice. See:
http://www.nestlecritics.org/

Nestlé not only tries to silence critics and to spy on them (see the report on the site), it uses a UN initiative called the UN Global Compact as cover so its abuses of human rights and the environment can continue. Nestlé produces glossy reports which are published on the UN Global Compact and have even been launched at joint events.

Unfortunately the UN Global Compact has no procedure for confirming if the reports are accurate and complete. Indeed, it stresses it is not intended to be an enforcement or verification agency. Its aim is to encourage corporate responsibility through voluntary means and by holding up good examples of 'Communications on Progress' - Nestlé has been honoured in this way.

So the initiative is fundamentally flawed and much criticised. I wrote a chapter in the book 'Global Obligations for the Right to Food' analysing these issues and calling for a regulatory system that could stop malpractice.

The Global Compact does have integrity measures, under which complaints can be filed if it is thought that a company is bringing the initiative into disrepute by systematic abuses of the principles it claims to support. Nestlé does this and more: it uses the initiative as cover so abuses can continue.

So the Nestlé Critics have filed a complaint and Nestlé has 3 months to respond. We and our partners have raised our various concerns with Nestlé repeatedly without success, so if they are dismissed again, will the Global Compact act to remove Nestlé's reports and strike it from the list of partners? We shall see.

There is a rather nice report of our own to go with our complaint, which I have put together. You can download this from our website, via the press release issued today at:
http://www.babymilkaction.org/press/press17june09.html

No comments:

Post a Comment