We have implemented extensive management systems across all our operations – to support compliance with the WHO Code. These systems outline our policies and procedures and give detailed operational guidelines to all our employees involved in the sale and marketing of breast-milk substitutes with the objective of ensuring compliance with our policies and local regulations at all levels.
Governance and oversight
The CEO of Nestlé Nutrition, Luis Cantarell, who is a member of our Executive Board, has been delegated by our CEO to be responsible for implementing and monitoring the Nestlé Policy and Instructions for Implementation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
An internal Code Compliance Committee, composed of senior management, including three members of the Executive Board, is responsible for overseeing and advising management on the Company’s compliance with the WHO Code and internal policies related to it.
We train all staff involved in the marketing of breast-milk substitutes in high-risk countries on the WHO Code. These employees are regularly tested on their knowledge of the WHO Code and the Nestlé Policy and Instructions. Deliberate or serious violations of our policies may lead to disciplinary action, including termination of employment. In 2012, 100% of infant formula marketing staff in high-risk countries were trained in the WHO Code.
We do not set sales targets or provide incentives or bonuses based on the sales volumes of BMS.
Marketing and sales staff are not compensated on achieving BMS sales targets. Knowledge and actions relating to the WHO Code is included in their bonus calculation.
There is indisputable evidence that breastfeeding gives babies the ideal nutrition and best start in life. The nutrition a baby gets in the first 1,000 days sets the foundation for better health in later life. We partner with relevant stakeholders through our ‘Start Healthy, Stay Healthy’ global initiative, which encourages breastfeeding.
We believe that effective cooperation between all key stakeholders, including governments, industry and not-for-profit organisations, is necessary to help improve maternal, infant and young child nutrition.
Working with NGOs
In 2012, we held two stakeholder convenings with a number of NGOs which addressed, among other topics, infant formula marketing. It is our policy to respond to anyone who raises a concern on the subject.
Unfortunately, issues around interpretation and implementation of the WHO Code have resulted in a lack of collaboration and progress in this area. We therefore welcome a meaningful, fact-based and constructive dialogue on WHO Code interpretation and implementation.
Collaborating with other infant food manufacturers
We are a founding member of the International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDI), which was formed to encourage responsible marketing standards for the infant food industry and to facilitate industry dialogue with the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments.
At the European level, we are a member of the European Dairy Association (EDA) and of the Association of the Food Industries for Particular Nutritional Uses (IDACE). We also take part in national associations in countries where they exist.
Working with governments and international organisations
We work through trade associations with national and international health organisations to help develop balanced and science-based public health policies.
We support the development and implementation of strong national legislation by governments giving effect to the principles and aim of the WHO Code, which is monitored through impartial procedures. This will help remove any ambiguity concerning interpretation and implementation and contribute to create a level competitive playing field for business.
Through our interactions with national and international health organisations, we aim to:
- Encourage the continued use of valid science in research and development related to infant and young child nutrition
- Support efforts by governments and communities to increase public awareness of sound infant feeding practices, and
- Promote balanced legislation and science-based regulation at national, regional or international level.
In all these interactions we follow the Nestlé Policy on Transparent Interaction with Authorities and Organisations.
We are committed to making our positions on maternal, infant and young child nutrition publicly available:
Addressing stakeholder concerns
We encourage stakeholders and the general public to tell us of any concerns or allegations around BMS marketing through our external grievance mechanism. Below are our responses to concerns raised directly with us:
|Nestlé’s response to Baby Action’s concerns regarding Wyeth Nutrition’s marketing practices in the UK (pdf, 90 Kb)
|Nestlé on Save the Children report and petition 'Superfoods for Babies' (pdf, 17 Kb)
|Nestlé and Bear Brand sweetened beverage creamer (pdf, 88 Kb)
|Nestlé responds to Baby Milk Action concerning Wyeth's marketing practices (pdf, 58 Kb)
|Nestlé's response to the court case on labelling in India (pdf, 45 Kb)
|Nestlé publishes results of external audit in Laos (pdf, 94 Kb)
|Nestlé responds to allegations of non-compliance with the WHO Code in Armenia (pdf, 56 Kb)
|Nestlé investigates allegations by NGOs in Laos (pdf, 52 Kb)
|Nestlé investigates allegations of non-compliance with WHO Code (pdf, 52 Kb)
|Campaign for ethical marketing (pdf, 163 Kb)
|Nestlé supports Philippines' revision of Milk Code (pdf, 101 Kb)
|Nestlé Philippines stands apart by supporting revision of Milk Code (pdf, 58 Kb)
We also publicly respond to the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)’s report ‘Breaking the Rules’, which compiles concerns about infant food marketing practices by all major infant food manufacturers, including Nestlé. We investigate all allegations made in the report and publically communicate the result of our investigations. We take corrective action whenever it is warranted.