We welcome the Call to Action as a significant milestone in the implementation of the WHO Code and subsequent relevant resolutions. We thank the signatories for the role that they and other civil society organizations have played in advancing infant and maternal nutrition over the past decades, both across the industry and in helping Nestlé improve its own practices.
We share the ambition of the Call to Action (CtA) to go further – as a company and as an industry. We will work towards compliance with the WHO Code and its subsequent relevant resolutions on a voluntary basis, demonstrating industry leadership. Full implementation of the Code will require both the commitment and action of industry, civil society organizations and Member States.
Our response to the Breast milk Substitutes Call to Action reflects our commitment to improving the health of mothers and children across the world:
- No promotion of infant formula for babies aged 0-6 months in ALL countries
Recognizing the WHO Code and the subsequent relevant WHA resolutions as the international reference framework for the promotion of breast milk substitutes, Nestlé has unilaterally committed to stop the promotion of infant formula for babies aged 0-6 months in ALL countries. This significant step extends the provisions of our existing policy (pdf, 5Mb) to the few countries where it has not applied to date and is particularly relevant to the USA, Canada and Japan, where no regulations currently exist. We will start the process now, to be completed by December 2022.
- Engaging stakeholders to encourage implementation of WHO Code
We will actively engage with stakeholders to encourage implementation of the WHO Code and subsequent relevant resolutions into national laws. Nestlé supports regulating promotion of infant formula for babies aged 0-12 months globally. The most effective way to secure Code compliance is through well-drafted and well-implemented legislation. We would like to engage with the WHO, UNICEF and the other signatories of the Call to Action to advocate for Code adoption by Member States.
To complement this, we will actively engage with stakeholders including the WHO, UNICEF and the other signatories of the Call to Action to find ways that respect antitrust laws, to advance industry commitments on the promotion of infant formula for babies aged 0-12 months.
We have also reconfirmed our support to the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) as a platform to stimulate progressive change, and will keep participating to the different indices hosted under this initiative.
The Nestlé full response and commitment is accessible on CtA website (pdf, 150Kb).
How does Nestlé support breastfeeding?
We believe that breastfeeding is best for babies and we support the World Health Organization's recommendation calling for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods.
We include the wording 'breastfeeding is best' whenever and wherever possible and relevant, such as on infant formula packaging and in all communications. We also develop educational materials for health care professionals and parents on the benefits of breastfeeding. We also run campaigns and seminars on breastfeeding for the medical community in partnership with governments and medical institutions.
Supporting breastfeeding also involves providing adequate support to parents, to establish a conducive environment for mothers to breastfeed. We take pride in how we acknowledge the dual role of parent and employee through benefits and services, such as our global Parental Support Policy, which is gender-neutral and offers 18 weeks of fully paid parental leave for primary caregivers and a minimum of four weeks for secondary caregivers. We also provide rooms for employees to express breast milk in all Nestlé facilities with more than 50 employees.