Poll: The most evil company in the world?

drevilSomething that we have an increased consciousness of, as part of our challenge to buying only British, is the ethics of the goods that we buy. The news images of the collapsed buildings in Bangladesh and the horse meat scandal have recently bought renewed prominence to the ethics of some imports into this country. Such news echos the terrible images of small children stitching Nike trainers or FIFA approved World Cup footballs in the 1980′. But 30 years on we had perhaps assumed that things had changed, but perhaps not.

One specific business with possibly the worse reputation is Nestlé – commonly known as the most evil company in the world. This is generally because of their long held policies with the promotion of milk formula in 3rd world countries, but they also have a consistent track record of considering profits above humanity going back decades. Their rap sheep is certainly a long one, see here for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9#Controversy_and_criticism

So, it is no surprise that there have been boycotts against this Swiss owned business going on nearly 40 years. However, when you check out the number of brands they own you would be surprised at how many well known, and much loved, products are owned by Nestlé. See here: http://babymilkaction.org/nestleboycottlist. One of the surprises on this list is ethical British brand The Body Shop.

Anyway, does anyone still boycott Nestle or are we happy to forgive and forget?

Do you still boycott Nestlé

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  1. On a lighter note – your image of a rap sheep for Nestle was quite amusing.

  2. I’ve boycotted Nestle for years. Their rap sheet is long- I think it’s enough to know that “UNICEF estimates that a formula-fed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between 6 and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.” They have sold baby milk formula with foreign language instructions so that local mothers couldn’t make it up correctly and marketed formula aggressively knowing that.

    And then this: Peter Brabeck, Head of the Nestle group explains why he thinks that all water should be in private hands and that access to clean, safe drinking water is a privilege and not a human right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEFL8ElXHaU

    Oh,and coincidentally, the current list of bottled water brands owned by Nestle world wide is 75. (Including Buxton, San Pellegrino, Perrier, and Vittel).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nestl%C3%A9_brands (please note, the list of brands they own changes frequently).

    The original boycott was for Nescafe because it’s ( I presume still) their biggest single revenue producer. Perhaps people could at least buy another brand of coffee even if giving up Lion bars is a step too far?

  3. Nicky Karn says

    I think for me part of the problem is my dog. I wouldn’t know what to feed her after seeing that list. I found out about Nestlé about 13 years ago from a man who was a young parent. I wasn’t impressed then either. Apart from my dog’s food I only rarely purchase nestle products and that’s only chocolate anyway. It seems that after all this time enough of us aren’t boycotting all of their products, either not enough of us know or care.

  4. Gillian says

    Many student unions in the UK still refuse to sell Nestle products in their shops including Manchesters Student union for exactly the reasons you’ve highlighted above. Unfortunately it doesn’t count for enough of Nestles market to make an impact it would seem.

  5. dazdread says

    Although I rarely buy Body shop because although “Ethical” they still mix in the same rubbish as everyone else just with added Banana Smoothie. I guess I had better gen up on their brands again to avoid any future accidental purchases!

  6. I have always tried to boycott Nestle. I resented it many years ago when they took over Rowntree. I do try to point out their faults to others. They still seem to thrive though!

  7. I don’t care what people say, I still love their products, Almost everything I buy at the grocery store is made by Nestle.

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