Next leafleting opportunity: Nestlé's satellite symposium at the International Congress of Paediatrics in Melbourne, Australia, 27 August. Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Time: 17:00 for 17:30 event start.
Click here for Nestlé announcement.
Baby Milk Action can provide colourful, concise information leaflets for anyone interested in leafleting to raise awareness of Nestlé's baby food marketing malpractice. Contact us to receive some or use the links below to download pdf files to print your own.
Leafleting on public property is allowed in the UK. However, if you are assembling a number of people to make a demonstration then it is wise to inform the police of what you are doing. The police will only be concerned that you remain orderly and do not cause an obstruction.
Leafleting on private property is at the discretion of the property owner. Shopping centres and car parks may be private property. It is good manners to approach a member of staff and ask them what the company policy is and where the boundary of the private land is. If the policy is not to allow leafleting you will be asked to leave the property in any case. If you are told you cannot leaflet then take up positions by the entrances and exits to the land on the public side of the boundary. Be sure that you do not prevent the free flow of people and do not obstruct drivers from seeing the road.
Be polite when leafleting. Do not force leaflets on members of the public, invite people to take a leaflet and do not get upset if they refuse.
Make sure you understand the background to the boycott in case you are asked further questions. See the Nestlé-Free Zone page for the latest information. Baby Milk Action's address and phone number is on our materials so you could suggest people contact us if you cannot answer their questions.
If you have further questions about leafleting or demonstrations please e-mail Baby Milk Action and ask. And if you do go leafleting, please let us know how it goes.
Here are some leaflets that can be dowloaded from the site:
You can find images, banners advertisements and widgets from Baby Milk Action for promoting the Nestlé boycott in our Nestlé-Free Zone and in our online Virtual Shop (where there are other resources for promoting the boycott).
Feel free to send us your own images and resources or add them to these page as comments (you will need to register with the site to do so).
Thanks to those who provided the following for International Nestlé-Free Week (which includes Halloween).
Nestlé-Free Zone candy wrappers
From the Boo Nestlé site, which says: "We are grateful to Lisa Komer of Munchkin Designs who created these Nestle-free Zone candy wrappers for us. Simply print out this page on regular or sticky-backed paper, cut them out and tape onto any candy or snack bar. They are perfectly sized for the mini-sized bars that many brand offer but will also work on most trick-or-treat items. We suggest you put these over the regular wrapper so parents (and kids) know what's inside. (Also, it should go without saying but just in case... don't put them on Nestle-brand products because it kind of defeats the purpose.)"
I boycott Nestlé - ask me why badge
Download this image donated by Robyn Bowman to make a badge.
This Nestlé vulture logo is available to download for printing as stickers - click here.
This alternative version has been provided by Kitty Simmons - click here.
This is available in the Apple store - click here.
We will shortly be posting a clip of the Nestlé product detector simulator in operation.
A boycott ringtone/text alert is also available for mobile phones - click here.
Baby Milk Action's fun product detector simulator - for entertainment purposes only.
This does not really detect products - you control its operation - and is intended as a fun way to break the ice to explain Baby Milk Action's boycott campaign. It displays a product detector dial and emits a warning note that becomes more insistent as you subtly vary the angle of your phone, flashing a 'product detected' warning when the phone is horizontal. Simply activate the application and move the phone towards a product which is on our boycott list, changing the angle of the phone as you do so. When the alarm sounds you can show the warning and explain why you are supporting Baby Milk Action's boycott campaign. With a little practice, no-one will guess that you are controlling the signal!! The application includes an updated list of UK products that you can consult in advance and a suggested text for explaining the campaign. It also links to the Baby Milk Action site, where you will find loads of information, other tools for promoting the campaign and product lists for some other countries.
This is a sample resolution for supporting the Nestlé boycott and the work of Baby Milk Action.
(Updated: 12 October 2011)
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. notes:
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. believes:
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. resolves:
The following organisations and individuals have given indicated their support for the boycott of Nestlé over its aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
We do not have staff resources to actively seek endorsers. We need public support to update and expand this listing. If you would like your organisation to be added to this list (or think an organisation has changed its name, no longer exists or has dropped its support for the boycott) then contact us or see our draft boycott resolution - click here.
If you would like materials to encourage an organisation you support to endorse the boycott, see the Nestlé-Free Zone. You will also find resources there to brand your organisation's website as a Nestlé-Free Zone.
Click here to sign the boycott pledge as an individual.
The UK boycott is currently endorsed by:
(Note: An example of how the boycott affects Nestlé's business. Tartex vegetarian paté was once a Nestlé product and so on the boycott list. Nestlé sold the brand and the new managers shifted production to a non-Nestlé factory.)
(For the legal position of supporting the boycott as a local authority click here).
(This list requires updating to reflect latest election results)
International Nestlé-Free Week is a time for people who boycott Nestlé over the way it pushes baby milk to do more to promote the boycott - and for those who don't boycott to give it a go.
Take a note of the date for 2014 and sign up for email alerts for news.
The information for the week in 2013 is given below - please keep taking action. The boycott will continue until Nestlé abides by the internationally agreed marketing standards.
Nestlé promotes its formula with claims such as it "protects" babies and provides a "natural start" (left, example from Thailand, 2013). Downloand our sheet on Nestlé's labels in 2013 for further examples and information.
To take part, simply stay Nestlé free during the week, and spread the word wherever you see Nestlé products. Scroll down - or click here - for how to explain the boycott in a few sentences.
Click here to send a message to Nestlé via email and/or Twitter calling on it to stop its misleading marketing of baby milk.
Click here to see the event page on Facebook and invite your friends.
There will also be activities to join in during the week. On Monday 28 October, Nestlé is holding its Creating Shared Value Global Forum. This is part of Nestlé's strategy to promote itself as having a solely beneficial impact (see Baby Milk Action's analysis Nestlé's Creative Storytelling Venture) and to put itself at the centre of policy setting on development, nutrition, the environment and so on.
You can protest at the event by sending messages on Twitter explaining that you are boycotting Nestlé until executives stop violating the baby food marketing requirements - use the Twitter hashtag #CSVForum - you can cite examples of what Nestlé is really doing.
Click on the image, left, to download and print our poster showing examples of Nestlé's formula labels. Use it to explain to friends and colleagues why you support the boycott.
Below you will find other resources, such as Nestlé-Free Zone poster to display in your homw, office or window. This may be particularly useful to put in your window if Halloween is marked in your country.
As Nestlé goes on a Public Relations (PR) offensive trying to improve its image by linking to the Fairtrade name during International Nestlé-Free Week, it is a great opportunity to tell people why to boycott Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat, its token Fairtrade chocolate bar, involving just 2.6% of its cocoa purchase. You can download our leaflet 'Why boycott Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat' by clicking here. You can also invite your friends to the event on Facebook event - click here - and adapt our suggested message (given below) for posting as a comment on articles that highlight KitKat without mentioning other concerns.
Baby Milk Action's campaigns calling on Nestlé to abide by the international marketing standards for baby foods force changes from the company. Sometimes it first dismisses allegations or attempts to justify practices - we are at this stage regarding the 'protect' logos on Nestlé formula - examples of Nestlé's promotional strategy can be seen on our Email Nestlé campaign page.
In its latest response to the campaign, Nestlé says it has discontinued leaflets claiming its formula is 'The new "Gold Standard" in infant nutrition', which are presumably too embarrassing to try to defend. In 2009 our exposé of promotion in rural Africa prompted it to clamp down on this prohibited practice. With further pressure we will persuade it to remove the idealising and misleading logos from labels. You can help.
Such logos are prohibited by Article 9.2 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which states:
"Neither the container nor the label should have pictures of infants, nor should they have other pictures or text which may idealise the use of infant formula" [emphasis added].
The logos are not only a breach of this prohibition, they are misleading. In a letter dated 2 November 2010, Nestlé disregards Article 9.2 and defends the logos.
We welcome you to investigate and critique the justification made by Nestlé. Its claims cannot be taken at face value, as we found when investigating its earlier defence of claims its formula contains 'Brain Building Blocks' (click here).
Nestlé is still being disingenuous. For example, in its defence given below, the review cited by Nestlé recommending DHA and ARA are added to formula was funded by a company called the Martek Biosciences Corporation. Nestlé does not reveal this fact, but it is extremely relevant. Martek manufactures DHA and ARA using microalgae fermentation specifically for adding to formula. So Martek funded the review recommending its products are added to formula - this is known as a 'conflict of interest'.
Nestlé suggests it accepts the findings of reviews by the Cochrane Library - that there is 'no proven benefit' from adding ingredients such as Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (DHA and ARA) - but continues to base its global marketing strategy on the addition of these ingredients. If there were proven benefit, Baby Milk Action would be campaigning for them to be added to the list of required ingredients for all formulas - and not be used for promotional purposes.
See what else you can uncover by scratching the surface of Nestlé's claims. Bear in mind, that Nestlé claimed its formula is 'The new "Gold Standard" in infant nutrition' and is using other questionable claims in attempting to persuade health workers to promote its formula to parents (an example from Egypt is given left). Looking at who conducted reviews, who they work for and who funded their involvement is particularly relevant. And what do the organisations Nestlé cites actually say about adding DHA and ARA to formula? See what you can find out and post quotes and links in comments to this article - it would be useful if you can indicate your own area of expertise when you do. There are several misleading statements that jump out at us and we will compile source documents to demonstrate this - you can help.
Nestlé's justification of its health claims:
Information on our products labels is backed by scientific evidence.
The 'Protect' logo is used on a new generation of sophisticated infant formulas with a unique combination of specific strains of probiotics, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, immune-nutrients and selected proteins. This unique combination has positive effects on the infant's physiology and metabolism compared with other formulas without these ingredients. However, we in no way suggest that the formula is equal to or superior to breast milk.
Contrary to what is suggested in your letter, we do not make any claim on the products labels that contradicts the Cochrane Library's reviews.
Our statement is that DHA and ARA are "two special fatty acids found in breast milk, which are important to your baby's defence system, and contribute to the development of brain and vision"
These are simply matters of fact (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18184094). A number of important international organisations and experts recommend that DHA and ARA be added to infant formula. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrtion (ESPGHAN), the World Association of Perinatal Medicine (WAPM) and the Child Health Foundation.
Regarding probiotics, we do not claim on labels that probiotics prevent allergic disease or food reactions. It is only stated that Bifidus L are "naturally active cultures that help to reinforce your baby's defense system".
It is important to make a distinction between information that is included on a label for a consumer and that which is offered in a scientific and factual document for a health care professional. It is in the latter document that information on research studies concerning the protective effects of probiotics on allergic reactions and intestinal disease are discussed (for examples of this science, see: http://www.babymilk.nestle.com/Documents/scientific-substantiation.pdf).
Update April 2011: Nestlé stated that WHO recommends that DHA and ARA be added to infant formula. This is untrue as WHO told Members of the European Parliament in April 2011, prior to the Parliament voting against authorising DHA claims. WHO stated: "WHO does not have a recommendation about the addition of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to formula milk.....to date no solid evidence exists to be able to say that adding DHA to infant formula will have important clinical benefits. Were WHO to give such a recommendation, it would have to follow a strict guideline development process based on grading of all available evidence collected through systematic reviews by expert panels free from conflict of interest."
Last updated: 16 April 2012
The following plan was put to Nestlé in March 2001 at Cambridge University when, thanks to boycott pressure, Nestlé agreed to debate its baby food marketing practices with Baby Milk Action. Prior to this date Nestlé refused to even speak in public if Baby Milk Action was present in the room.
The plan was immediately rejected by Nestlé executives and has been repeatedly rejected since when Baby Milk Action has written asking the company to reconsider or raised it again at debates. Having lost a series of debates, Nestlé has refused to debate since 2005.