“Nestlé’s exploitation of water is just one of the many examples of the risk this corporation poses to human and planetary health. The subject of a continuing 4-decade boycott for its contribution to the family suffering and lives lost by millions of children is just one issue that the Swiss Government know well and should be heeding now. It is simply foolhardy to trust that this company will put human and planetary health first. There is too much evidence to the contrary.”
Here are  links to an important campaign / Petition launched today in Canada, the US, France, Germany and Switzerland:  Do sign up!

Stop Nestlé executive’s appointment to the Swiss agency responsible for water aid

The Swiss government is about to appoint Christian Frutiger, Nestlé’s current global head of public affairs, as vice-president of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The SDC is responsible for development aid projects in other countries; Frutiger’s responsibilities as vice-president would include SDC’s water program.

As Nestlé’s head of public affairs, Christian Frutiger regularly ignores Nestlé’s water overexploitation in its bottling facilities and installations around the world. He has never publicly addressed the problems with Nestlé water takings in France, Canada, or in the United States. If Nestlé’s head of public affairs can ignore problems with his company in developed countries with well-established democratic traditions, what might happen in less developed, institutionally more fragile countries?

Switzerland has one of the best public sanitation and water distribution services in the world. But the government is using citizens’ tax money to support water privatization in other countries through the SDC partnership with Nestlé. For example, the SDC supported the creation of the Water Resources Group, a global initiative including Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Pepsi that promotes privatized water around the world.

In 2013, Nestlé was convicted of spying on ATTAC, a Swiss grassroots group critical of Nestlé. From 2002 to 2005, Nestlé hired a Swiss security company to infiltrate the group.

Christian Frutiger, then Nestlé’s public affairs manager, played a key role in minimizing the impact on the company’s image after a Swiss court determined its guilt. Frutiger’s willingness to defend Nestlé’s spying disqualifies him from leading international development aid or water projects.

Further, Christian Frutiger’s loyal service to Nestlé strongly suggests that as SDC vice-president he would willingly serve the agency’s goal to deepen and extend water privatization.

To control water is to control a society. Control of public water by private corporations is dangerous to the common good. We must remain vigilant and well organized to defend our waters, our Earth and our society from corporate control.

The SDC should support public water services – the Swiss model – in other countries, and oppose public-private partnerships and other forms of privatization.

Don’t let Christian Frutiger’s appointment go unchallenged! Sign the petition to demand that Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis revoke Frutiger’s appointment as vice-president of the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC).


‘Invisible Hands’: Film Review

Courtesy of First Run Features

“……In the Indonesian rain forest, workers who are saddled with unmeetable harvest quotas bring their children to help harvest palm oil. Since these kids aren’t officially employed, they don’t get the protective gear real employees should; they’re exposed to hazardous pesticides and the like as they work for an agriculture company that supplies Unilever, Nestle and the makers of just about every candy your child ate on Halloween. When Tandon goes to ask Nestle PR head Christian Frutiger about this, he says the company has no knowledge of its suppliers’ human rights violations. But violations don’t seem nearly as rare as Frutiger claims, and the company’s professed ignorance makes its website’s boasts of “responsible sourcing” look like a feel-good lie.

The filmmaker interviews children who’ve been working since the age of six, highlights a couple of other activists trying to end their labor (including the colorful Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a Ghanaian investigative journalist who always wears disguises) and meets some of the grown-ups who oversee teams of kids. Then she goes on some stings of her own…”

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