What the Nestle Boycott is–and isn’t–About

What the Nestle Boycott is–and isn’t–About

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Nestlé-Free Zone

Next Monday (October 25, 2010) marks the start of the International Nestlé-Free Week 2010.  According to Baby Milk Action:

International Nestlé-Free Week (25 – 31 October 2010) is a time for those who support the boycott to do more to promote it and for those who don’t boycott to give it a go, at least for a week, by avoiding Nescafé, the principal target of the boycott, and other Nestlé products.

As some of you may know, I (try to) participate in the Nestlé Boycott all year round.  (I say “try to” because I sometimes forget a few of the many brands owned by Nestlé.)  And for this year’s International Nestlé-Free Week, I’d like you to try participating in the boycott too–even if it’s only for one week.

Right now, you might not think that the boycott is “for you.”  You might wonder why Nestlé deserves a boycott.  You might think that the boycott interferes with the purchase of products that your family regularly enjoys.  You might even feel as if the boycott is really more about judging you and telling you what to do with your life than it is about trying to hold Nestlé accountable for its unethical business practices.

But the boycott is really just about that last point–holding Nestlé accountable for unethical business practices that harm infants, children, and families worldwide.

It’s about boycotting them, not you!

What else is the Nestlé boycott about (and not about)?

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about thinking that you are stupid or irresponsible for ever having purchased, enjoyed, or consumed Nestlé products…

…but it is about thinking that Nestlé is an irresponsible and unethical corporation–a corporation that is one of the world’s most boycotted companies.

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The Nestlé Boycott is not necessarily about asking people to throw out all of the Nestlé brand candy they have already purchased (with their hard-earned money) for Halloween…

…but it is about asking people to try–for just one week, and then maybe beyond that–not to contribute any more of their hard-earned money to a company whose chocolate candy is very likely the product of child slave labor .

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about judging parents who choose to feed their infants formula…

…but it is about judging companies who violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and whose marketing practices do little to curb the estimated 1.5 million infant and child deaths each year that could have been prevented through improved breastfeeding practices.

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about asking companies to stop producing infant formula…

…but it is about asking companies to stop their aggressive, misleading, and unethical marketing of infant formula.

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about chastising parents who feed their families (Nestlé brand) processed food…

…but it is about asking Nestlé to rethink the exorbitantly high sodium content of their family, toddler, and preschooler meals.

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about asking you to make drastic changes to your shopping habits…

…but it is about wanting Nestlé to know that even some of their “fans” think that certain Nestlé products and/or practices are unethical and harmful to families and children.

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The Nestlé Boycott is not about thinking that you are a “bad” consumer or a “bad” parent…

…but it is about thinking that misleading formula marketing, child slave labor, and unhealthy “healthy” meals are bad for families, bad for children, and bad for a company to promote and/or perpetuate.

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So–who else is joining me (and many others) in the Nestlé Boycott next week?!



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15 Comments

  1. Kate
    Kate10-21-2010

    I’ve been boycotting Nestle since I read about the boycott a year or so ago. Normally it’s not much of an issue since I don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged foods but they make two of my favorite candies so this time of year is a little harder. Thanks for writing such a good explanatory post that I can share :)

  2. Juliette
    Juliette10-21-2010

    I’ve been boycotting Nestle for several years now, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I’m pretty suspicious of how many water brands they now own too…

    I’ve managed to move away from buying anything Nestle now… until I find that they own yet another brand… they will own the world someday I think! The more reading I do, the less good their candy tastes to me.

  3. Amber
    Amber10-23-2010

    I’ve been boycotting Nestle for a few years now. Not perfectly – as you said it can be hard to avoid consuming every Nestle product, given their size and scope – but I do my summary best to avoid giving them my money.

    What I really wanted to say, though, is that this is probably the best explanation of the boycott that I have ever read. So thank you very much for that!
    Amber´s last blog post ..Autumnal Thoughts

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-24-2010

      Thank YOU, Amber!

  4. Annie @ PhD in Parenting
    Annie @ PhD in Parenting10-23-2010

    This is a fabulous post Kristen. I love the way you laid out what it is and is not about. I hope you’ll come and share your post and your thoughts during our #noNestle twitter party on Sunday at 9pm EST.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-24-2010

      Thank you so much, Annie. As I’ve said before, I’m continually inspired by the work you do in regard to the Nestle boycott. I’ll try my best to participate tonight in the #noNestle Twitter party. (The internet is currently down at my house, so I might just be following along on my phone…)

  5. Kelly
    Kelly10-24-2010

    Thank you so much. I agree with Amber – this is the best explanation I’ve read to date.

  6. Very Bored in Catalunya
    Very Bored in Catalunya10-24-2010

    Brilliant post, have just stumbled and tweeted. Sadly due to being in Europe I won’t be able to take part in the Twitter party but I will be writing a post about Anti-Nestle week and will link this post.

    Keep up the good work.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-24-2010

      Thanks so much! I look forward to reading your post once it’s up.

  7. Crunchy Domestic Goddess » Boo Nestle Twitter Party tonight!
    Crunchy Domestic Goddess » Boo Nestle Twitter Party tonight!10-24-2010

    […] What the Nestle Boycott Is (and Isn’t) About SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Boo Nestle Twitter Party tonight!", url: "http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2010/10/24/boo-nestle-twitter-party-tonight/" }); Stumble it! […]

  8. Brenna
    Brenna10-25-2010

    Love, love, love this post. I have been boycotting since I was a child, although I was a bit lax for a while there. I have really tried working on educating the other people in my life about it. Even if we could get one more person to join in…
    Brenna´s last blog post ..International Nestlé-Free Week 2010 or Boo Nestlé…

  9. Mama__B
    Mama__B10-26-2010

    Since Nestle makes most of the peanut free candy in Canada, we won’t be boycotting their Hallowe’en products. Peanut free is more important in our home than Nestle free, honestly.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-26-2010

      I can definitely see how avoiding peanut products might trump a corporate boycott in your home! On the other hand (and as I’m sure you know), Mars also makes peanut-free candies in Canada. And though it may not be as “Halloween glamorous” to the kids, peanut-free pretzels or crackers can also be good, Nestle-free options, IF you were still looking for a way to avoid Nestle for a while. :-)

  10. stuart
    stuart10-27-2010

    I find this a bit hypercritical my other half started breast feeding but suffered extreme high blood pressure it caused her lungs to fill with fluid she nearly died and could not breast feed so my daughter should die because of people who only think of theme selves this is becoming a big problem. Boycott the boycott, boob is best but who are you. Boycotting forces closure eventually, I trust Nestle’s product over a Chinese company any day go to china see for your selves before you judge!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-27-2010

      Oops–you must have missed this part of the post:

      The Nestlé Boycott is not about judging parents who choose to feed their infants formula…

      …but it is about judging companies who violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and whose marketing practices do little to curb the estimated 1.5 million infant and child deaths each year that could have been prevented through improved breastfeeding practices.

      Hope this clears my position up for you (i.e. that I’m not against formula but against companies who unethically market formula)!

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