October 21, 2005


Boycott Nestlé this Hallowe’en


This Hallowe’en, as North American children head out for a night of fun and trick or treating, we would do well to remember young people in other parts of the world.  As kids in Canada and the US gobble up Nestlé chocolate bars, the company will go on endangering impoverished children’s health and lives in the poor countries of this planet.  We at INFACT Canada urge you not to give out or accept any Nestlé products this year, and encourage your neighbours and friends to do the same.  Here are a few reminders of the many reasons why it’s so important that you don’t give Nestlé your business:


  • Nestlé’s marketing behaviour contributes to increased death and illness of babies around the world. 
  • Nestlé tries to convince mothers in the majority (third) world that they should feed their children Nestlé formula, despite the fact that formula feeding is often deadly, and breastmilk is free and supplies all the food a baby needs for at least six months.  Breaking international regulations,  the company seeks direct contact with mothers and infiltrates health care systems.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that 1.5 million infants die annually because they are not breastfed.  The vast majority of them come from impoverished countries.
  • Where water is unsafe, as it often is in poor nations, a formula fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child. 
  • Despite these facts Nestlé refuses to adhere to the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which was designed to ensure that mothers are not dissuaded from breastfeeding by misleading advertising. 
  • The Nestlé Boycott is the world’s largest ever consumer boycott, active in over 20 countries.  The company has changed some of its harmful policies when there has been sufficient pressure and publicity.  The boycott saves lives!


As if that weren’t enough…


  • Nestlé fiercely resists any of its workers’ attempts to unionize in poor nations such as the Philippines and Columbia.  In Columbia, workers at a Nestlé powdered milk factory have been fired for trying to organize, and some have been threatened and even murdered by government sponsored militias.  Last month, Philippino union leader Diasdodo Fortuna was shot dead on his way home from the picket line in front of a Nestlé plant.  Nestlé benefits from and endorses this violence by continuing to operate in these countries and refusing to create fair working conditions.
  • Like the other major chocolate companies, much of the labour that produces the cocao Nestlé buys is obtained through slavery in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire.  Nestlé benefits from the low cost of slave labour and has done little to stop the practice.


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