Thursday

A tale of two logos: The Fairtrade mark added to KitKat while Nestlé tells mothers its formula will 'protect' their babies

The Independent newspaper has picked up a quote from me in an article today on "The great KitKat debate: is it fair?" See:

They invite comments, so feel free to give your views.

For the concerns over the way Nestlé is using the Fairtrade mark to divert criticism of unethical business practices, such as its pushing of baby milk, see my past blogs, such as:

It is ironic that as the Fairtrade logo appears on Nestlé KitKats, we continue to campaign for Nestlé to remove a logo from its infant formula labels that claims Nestlé formula 'protects' babies. It does not - babies fed on it are more likely to become ill than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, to die. You can send a message to Nestlé about this via our Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet, which shows a tin from Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries:

While Nestlé is gaining worldwide publicity, much of it good, for its decision to source 1% of its cocoa from farmers within the Fairtrade scheme, Green and Black's has today announced it is going 100% Fairtrade. See:

US Fair Trade organisations have said they think far more should have been demanded of Nestlé, particularly as it has failed to deliver on its promise to end child slavery in its cocoa supply chain by 2006. See:

While we have added Fairtrade KitKat to the Nestlé boycott list, that does not mean we are anti-Fairtrade. Indeed, Fairtrade fortnight is coming up in the UK from 22 February to 7 March. You can find ideas to support it at:

If you are planning a stall or event, then feel free to contact Baby Milk Action for leaflets explaining why Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat is on our boycott list.

We need all the help we can get to stop practices such as Nestlé telling mothers around the world that its formula will 'protect' their babies. According to UNICEF: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year."

We have tried to enlist the help of the UN Global Compact Office and the offices responsible for overseeing the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, but they are unprepared to do anything other than encourage us to 'dialogue' with Nestlé. We have been in 'dialogue' with Nestlé for decades and what we have learned is that Nestlé acts when it is pressure or shamed, particularly if it believes its profits and its image (which impacts on its profits) will be harmed.

So please do consider sending a message to Nestlé and reminding friends and colleagues of Nestlé malpractice. The launch of Fairtrade KitKat presents an ideal opportunity.

Nestlé spends millions on trying to improve its image. But with your help we are able to put the other side of the story into the national press, as with the article in The Independent today.

You might also like to consider becoming a member of Baby Milk Action, if you are not already, or sending us a donation. See:

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