This is a sample resolution for supporting the Nestlé boycott and the work of Baby Milk Action.
(Updated: 19 April 2016)
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. notes:
- that Nestlé currently violates the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly by promoting bottle feeding and undermining breastfeeding;
- that Nestlé controls the largest share of the world baby milk market, that independent monitoring finds that it is responsible for ongoing, systematic violations of the International Code and Resolutions, and that it refuses to stop the vast majority of violations reported to it;
- that Nestlé violations include promotion through health care systems, direct targeting of mothers and pregnant women and advertising and labelling with idealising health and nutrition claims;
- that Nestlé refuses to warn that powdered infant formula is not sterile or to bring instructions into line with World Health Organisation Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula to reduce the risks from possible contamination with harmful bacteria;
- that artificially-fed babies are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more like to die;
- that WHO has stated, ‘infants who are not breastfed in the first month of life may be as much as 25 times more likely to die than infants who are exclusively breastfed’ and in 2013 stated, ‘The deaths of 823 000 children and 20 000 mothers each year could be averted through universal breastfeeding, along with economic savings of US$300 billion.’
- that in the context of HIV the risk of a mother passing the virus to her child should be assessed relative to the risk of replacement feeding and that the World Health Assembly Resolution 54.2 states that where replacement feeding is not suitable: “exclusive breastfeeding is recommended during the first months of life; and that those who choose other options should be encouraged to use them free from commercial influences.”;
- that Baby Milk Action is the UK member of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) consisting of over 270 citizens’ groups in more than 160 countries and that IBFAN conducts independent monitoring of the baby food industry;
- that Nestlé is the target of a boycott, focusing on its flagship product, Nescafé coffee, and a wider Nestlé-Free Zone campaign;
- that in March 2001 Nestlé rejected Baby Milk Action’s four-point plan aimed at saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott and has repeatedly rejected it in the years since then, including at the Nestlé shareholder meeting in April 2016. The four-point plan states:
- Nestlé must accept in writing that the International Code and the subsequent, relevant Resolutions are minimum requirements for every country.
- Nestlé must acknowledge in writing that it needs to change its policy and practice to bring them into line with the International Code and Resolutions in every country (i.e. explicitely drop its strategy of denial and deception).
- Once Nestlé has made its commitment to change clear, Baby Milk Action will take the statements to the International Nestlé Boycott Committee (INBC) and suggest that a meeting with Nestlé to discuss its timetable for making the changes.
- If IBFAN monitoring finds no violations from Nestlé for 18 months, the boycott will be called off.
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. believes:
- that a consumer boycott is a peaceful and effective way of encouraging a company to behave responsibly and notes that although Nestlé continues to reject the majority of violations reported to it, indicating they will continue, the boycott has forced some changes in the company’s policies and practices, and also helps to keep this issue in the public and media spotlight;
- that we have a responsibility as an organisation to take a moral stance against companies who fail to meet international standards of behaviour;
- that Nestlé should abide by the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions in their entirety as a minimum requirement in all countries.
This Union / Cooperative / Association, etc. resolves:
- to call on Nestlé to ensure that its policy and practice at every level in all countries conform to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions and to act swiftly to end all violations reported to it;
- to call on Nestlé to accept Baby Milk Action’s four-point plan for saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott, and to act upon it;
- not to stock/sell Nescafé/Nestlé products;
- to endorse and publicise the Nestlé boycott;
- to declare retail outlets and other property under its control a Nestlé-Free Zone;
- to contact Baby Milk Action for the latest information before drafting a resolution to end support for the boycott;
- to affiliate to Baby Milk Action to receive updates on the boycott;
- to support and publicise the work of Baby Milk Action and IBFAN.