Nestle dilemma

Oh, what a dilemma! Nestlé is the most boycotted company in this country (and elsewhere) because of their unethical practices in developing countries. As recently as May this year they were sending out calendars to health care workers in the Middle East giving recommendations on when to start babies on solid food (ie Nestlé products). “Is he lifting up his head and neck? Your baby’s ready for his gentle first food.”

So now I hear on the radio today they Nestlé are about to launch a fair trade instant coffee which I think will bear the name of Nescafé. This used to be my preferred brand until I heard, almost 20 years ago, what they were doing in India to encourage women to use formula milk instead of breastfeeding. I boycotted all their products then and have continued to keep up to date via the website

And it has not been easy, let me tell you. No Kit Kats and no After Eights and no Smarties (and those tubes were so handy for fundraising purposes). But I have stood firm and encouraged my little flock to do the same.

The FairTrade organisation said this morning that people should know that it is only this new coffee which is fairly traded, and that they hope the company will look at other areas in the near future. And they will monitor it closely. A spokesperson from Nestlé said they would, but in a sort of non-committal way.

So my dilemma is this? Should we buy this coffee to encourage them? Can we eat Kit Kats once more? Can we use Smartie tubes for collecting pound coins at Advent and Lent, or should we continue to stockpile those lovely purple containers from Cadbury mini eggs at Easter? There is nothing on the boycott site about this new development.



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