Nestlé S.A. is a Swiss transnational food and drink company
headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland. It is the largest food
company in the world, measured by revenues and other metrics, since
2014. It ranked No. 64 on the
Fortune Global 500 in
2017 and No. 33 on the 2016 edition of the Forbes Global 2000 list
of largest public companies.
Nestlé's products include baby food, medical food, bottled water,
breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice
cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. Twenty-nine of Nestlé's
brands have annual sales of over CHF1 billion (about
US$1.1 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, Kit Kat,
Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer's, Vittel, and Maggi.
Nestlé has 447
factories, operates in 194 countries, and employs around 339,000
people. It is one of the main shareholders of L'Oreal, the world's
largest cosmetics company.
Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk
Company, established in 1866 by brothers George and Charles Page, and
Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by
Henri Nestlé (born
Heinrich Nestle). The company grew significantly during the First
World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its
offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products.
The company has made a number of corporate acquisitions, including
Crosse & Blackwell in 1950,
Findus in 1963,
Libby's in 1971,
Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988, and Gerber in 2007.
Nestlé has a primary listing on the
SIX Swiss Exchange
SIX Swiss Exchange and is a
constituent of the Swiss Market Index. It has a secondary listing on
1.1 1866–1900: Founding and early years
1.2 1901–1989: Mergers
1.3 1990–2011: Growth internationally
1.4 2012–present: Recent developments
2 Corporate affairs and governance
2.1 Joint ventures
2.2 Board of Directors
3.1 Food safety
3.1.1 Milk products and baby food
3.1.2 Cookie dough
4.1 Music and Entertainment
5 Controversy and criticisms
Nestlé baby formula boycott
5.2 Possible competition violations
5.3 Status of Potable Water
5.4 Ethiopian debt (2002)
5.5 Child labour
5.6 Chocolate price fixing
5.7 Packaging claims (2008)
5.8 Water bottling operations in California,
Oregon and Michigan
5.9 Ukrainian boycott of Russian-manufactured
5.10 Forced labour in Thai fishing industry
6 Corporate social responsibility program involvements
7 Recognition and awards
10 See also
11 Notes and references
12 External links
1866–1900: Founding and early years
Henri Nestlé, a Swiss confectioner, was the founder of
one of the main creators of condensed milk.
The logo that
Nestlé used until 1966
Nestlé's origins date back to the 1860s, when two separate Swiss
enterprises were founded that would later form the core of Nestlé. In
the succeeding decades, the two competing enterprises aggressively
expanded their businesses throughout Europe and the United States.
In 1866, Charles Page (US consul to Switzerland) and George Page,
brothers from Lee County, Illinois, USA, established the Anglo-Swiss
Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. Their first British
operation was opened at Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1873.
In 1867, in Vevey,
Henri Nestlé developed milk-based baby food and
soon began marketing it. The following year saw
Daniel Peter begin
seven years of work perfecting his invention, the milk chocolate
Nestlé was the crucial co-operation that Peter
needed to solve the problem of removing all the water from the milk
added to his chocolate and thus preventing the product from developing
Henri Nestlé retired in 1875 but the company, under new
ownership, retained his name as Société Farine Lactée Henri
In 1877, Anglo-Swiss added milk-based baby foods to their products; in
the following year, the
Nestlé Company added condensed milk to their
portfolio, which made the firms direct and fierce rivals.
In 1879, Nestle merged with milk chocolate inventor Daniel Peter.
Aleppo Nestle building Tilal street 1920s.
Certificate for 100 shares of the
Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed
Milk Co., issued 1. November 1918
In 1904, François-Louis Cailler, Charles Amédée Kohler, Daniel
Henri Nestlé participated in the creation and development
of Swiss chocolate, marketing the first chocolate – milk
In 1905, the companies merged to become the
Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss
Condensed Milk Company, retaining that name until 1947 when the name
Nestlé Alimentana SA' was taken as a result of the acquisition of
Fabrique de Produits
Maggi SA (founded 1884) and its holding company,
Alimentana SA, of Kempttal, Switzerland.
Maggi was a major
manufacturer of soup mixes and related foodstuffs. The company's
current name was adopted in 1977. By the early 1900s, the company was
operating factories in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany,
and Spain. The
First World War
First World War created demand for dairy products in
the form of government contracts, and, by the end of the war,
Nestlé's production had more than doubled.
A 1915 advertisement for "Nestlés Food", an early infant formula
In January 1919,
Nestlé bought two condensed milk plants in Oregon
from the company
Geibisch and Joplin
Geibisch and Joplin for $250,000. One was in Bandon,
while the other was in Milwaukee. They expanded them considerably,
processing 250,000 pounds of condensed milk daily in the Bandon
Nestlé felt the effects of the Second World War immediately. Profits
dropped from US$20 million in 1938 to US$6 million in 1939.
Factories were established in developing countries, particularly in
Latin America. Ironically, the war helped with the introduction of the
company's newest product,
Nescafé ("Nestlé's Coffee"), which became
a staple drink of the US military. Nestlé's production and sales rose
in the wartime economy.
After the war, government contracts dried up, and consumers switched
back to fresh milk. However, Nestlé's management responded quickly,
streamlining operations and reducing debt. The 1920s saw Nestlé's
first expansion into new products, with chocolate-manufacture becoming
the company's second most important activity. Louis Dapples was CEO
till 1937 when succeeded by Édouard Muller till his death in 1948.
The end of World War II was the beginning of a dynamic phase for
Nestlé. Growth accelerated and numerous companies were acquired. In
Nestlé merged with Maggi, a manufacturer of seasonings and
soups. Crosse & Blackwell followed in 1950, as did
Libby's (1971), and
Stouffer's (1973). Diversification came with a
shareholding in L'Oreal in 1974. In 1977,
Nestlé made its second
venture outside the food industry, by acquiring
In the 1980s, Nestlé's improved bottom line allowed the company to
launch a new round of acquisitions. Carnation was acquired for
$3 billion in 1984 and brought the evaporated milk brand, as well
Friskies to Nestlé. The confectionery company
Rowntree Mackintosh was acquired in 1988 for $4.5 billion, which
brought brands such as Kit Kat, Smarties, and Aero.
1990–2011: Growth internationally
The first half of the 1990s proved to be favourable for Nestlé. Trade
barriers crumbled, and world markets developed into more or less
integrated trading areas. Since 1996, there have been various
San Pellegrino (1997),
Ralston Purina (2002). There were two major acquisitions
in North America, both in 2002 – in June,
Nestlé merged its US
ice cream business into Dreyer's, and in August, a US$2.6 billion
acquisition was announced of Chef America, the creator of Hot Pockets.
In the same time-frame,
Nestlé entered in a joint bid with Cadbury
and came close to purchasing the iconic American company Hershey's,
one of its fiercest confectionery competitors, but the deal eventually
In December 2005,
Nestlé bought the Greek company Delta Ice Cream for
€240 million. In January 2006, it took full ownership of
Dreyer's, thus becoming the world's largest ice cream maker, with a
17.5% market share. In July 2007, completing a deal announced the
Nestlé acquired the Medical Nutrition division of
Novartis Pharmaceutical for US$2.5 billion, also acquiring, the
milk-flavoring product known as Ovaltine, the "Boost" and "Resource"
lines of nutritional supplements, and Optifast dieting products.
The Brazilian president, Lula da Silva, inaugurates a factory in Feira
de Santana (Bahia), in February 2007
In April 2007, returning to its roots,
Nestlé bought US baby-food
manufacturer Gerber for US$5.5 billion. In December
Nestlé entered into a strategic partnership with a Belgian
chocolate maker, Pierre Marcolini.
Nestlé agreed to sell its controlling stake in
Novartis on 4
January 2010. The sale was to form part of a broader
US$39.3 billion offer, by Novartis, for full acquisition of the
world's largest eye-care company. On 1 March 2010, Nestlé
concluded the purchase of Kraft Foods's North American frozen pizza
business for US$3.7 billion.
Since 2010, Nestle has been working to transform itself into a
nutrition, health and wellness company in an effort to combat
declining confectionery sales and the threat of expanding government
regulation of such foods. This effort is being led through the Nestlé
Institute of Health Sciences under the direction of Ed Baetge. The
Institute aims to develop "a new industry between food and
pharmaceuticals" by creating foodstuffs with preventative and
corrective health properties that would replace pharmaceutical drugs
from pill bottles. The Health Science branch has already produced
several products, such as drinks and protein shakes meant to combat
malnutrition, diabetes, digestive health, obesity, and other
In July 2011,
Nestlé SA agreed to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi
International Ltd. for about US$1.7 billion. On 23 April
Nestlé agreed to acquire Pfizer Inc.'s infant-nutrition,
formerly Wyeth Nutrition, unit for US$11.9 billion, topping a
joint bid from
Danone and Mead Johnson.
2012–present: Recent developments
In recent years,
Nestlé Health Science has made several acquisitions.
It acquired Vitaflo, which makes clinical nutritional products for
people with genetic disorders; CM&D Pharma Ltd., a company that
specialises in the development of products for patients with chronic
conditions like kidney disease; and Prometheus Laboratories, a firm
specialising in treatments for gastrointestinal diseases and cancer.
It also holds a minority stake in Vital Foods, a New Zealand-based
company that develops kiwifruit-based solutions for gastrointestinal
conditions as of 2012.
Another recent purchase included the
Jenny Craig weight-loss program,
for US$600 million.
Nestlé sold the
Jenny Craig business unit to
North Castle Partners in 2013. In February 2013,
Science bought Pamlab, which makes medical foods based on
L-methylfolate targeting depression, diabetes, and memory loss. In
Nestlé sold its PowerBar sports nutrition business to
Post Holdings, Inc. Later, in November 2014,
that it was exploring strategic options for its frozen food
In December 2014,
Nestlé announced that it was opening 10 skin care
research centres worldwide, deepening its investment in a
faster-growing market for healthcare products. That year, Nestlé
spent about $350 million on dermatology research and development.
The first of the research hubs,
Nestlé Skin Health Investigation,
Education and Longevity Development (SHIELD) centres, will open mid
2015 in New York, followed by Hong Kong and São Paulo, and later
others in North America, Asia, and Europe. The initiative is being
launched in partnership with the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), a
consortium that includes companies such as
Intel and Bank of
Nestlé announced in January 2017 that it was relocating its U.S.
headquarters from Glendale, California, to
Rosslyn, Virginia outside
of Washington, DC.
In March 2017,
Nestlé announced that they will lower the sugar
content in Kit Kat, Yorkie and Aero chocolate bars by 10% by 2018.
In July followed a similar announcement concerning the reduction of
sugar content in its breakfast cereals in the UK.
The company announced a $20.8 billion share buyback in June 2017,
following the publication of a letter written by Third Point
Management founder Daniel S. Loeb, Nestlé's fourth-largest
stakeholder with a $3.5 billion stake, explaining how the firm
should change its business structure. Consequently, the firm will
reportedly focus investment on sectors such as coffee and pet care and
will seek acquisitions in the consumer health-care industry.
In September 2017,
Nestlé S.A. acquired a majority stake of Blue
Bottle. While the deal's financial details were not disclosed, the
Financial Times reported "Nestle is understood to be paying up to
$500m for the 68 per cent stake in Blue Bottle". Blue Bottle
expects to increase sales by 70% this year.
In September 2017,
Nestlé USA agreed to acquire Sweet Earth, a
California-based producer of plant-based foods, for an undisclosed
In January 2018,
Nestlé USA announced it is selling its U.S.
confectionary business to Ferrero, an Italian chocolate and candy
maker. The company was sold for a total of an estimated $2.8
Corporate affairs and governance
Nestlé Japan headquarters in Nestle House building, Kobe, Japan
Nestlé USA headquarters in Glendale, California
Nestlé is the biggest food company in the world, with a market
capitalisation of roughly 231 billion Swiss francs, which is more
than US$247 billion as of May 2015.
In 2014, consolidated sales were CHF 91.61 billion and net profit
was CHF 14.46 billion.
Research and development
Research and development investment was
CHF 1.63 billion.
Sales per category in CHF
20.3 billion powdered and liquid beverages
16.7 billion milk products and ice cream
13.5 billion prepared dishes and cooking aids
13.1 billion nutrition and health science
11.3 billion petcare
9.6 billion confectionery
6.9 billion water
Percentage of sales by geographic area breakdown
43% from Americas
28% from Europe
29% from Asia, Oceania and Africa
According to a 2015 global survey of online consumers by the
Nestlé has a reputation score of 74.5 on a
scale of 1–100.
Joint ventures include:
Cereal Partners Worldwide
Cereal Partners Worldwide with
General Mills (50%/50%)
Beverage Partners Worldwide
Beverage Partners Worldwide with The Coca-Cola Company(50%/50%)
Nestlé Produits Frais with
Indofood Citarasa Indonesia with
Nestlé Snow with
Snow Brand Milk Products
Snow Brand Milk Products (50%/50%)
Nestlé Modelo with Grupo Modelo
Dairy Partners America Brasil with
Board of Directors
As of 2017 the board is composed of:
Paul Bulcke, chairman and former CEO of Nestlé
Andreas Koopmann, former CEO of Bobst
Beat Hess, former legal director/general counsel for
ABB Group and
Royal Dutch Shell
Renato Fassbind, former CEO of
DKSH and former CFO of Credit Suisse
Steven George Hoch, founder of Highmount Capital
Naina Lal Kidwai, former CEO of
HSBC Bank India, country head for HSBC
Jean-Pierre Roth, former Chairman of the Swiss National Bank
Ann Veneman, former
United States Secretary of Agriculture
United States Secretary of Agriculture and
Director of UNICEF
Henri de Castries, former CEO and Chairman of AXA
Eva Cheng, former Executive Vice President of
China and Southeast Asia
Ruth Khasaya Oniang’o, former member of the Parliament of Kenya,
current professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Patrick Aebischer, former President of École Polytechnique Fédérale
Main article: List of
Samples of Nestle Toll House Cafe items in 2012.
Nestlé has over 8,000 brands with a wide range of products across
a number of markets, including coffee, bottled water, milkshakes and
other beverages, breakfast cereals, infant foods, performance and
healthcare nutrition, seasonings, soups and sauces, frozen and
refrigerated foods, and pet food.
Milk products and baby food
Main article: 2008 Chinese milk scandal
In late September 2008, the Hong Kong government found melamine in a
Nestlé milk product. Six infants died from kidney
damage, and a further 860 babies were hospitalised. The Dairy
Farm milk was made by Nestlé's division in the Chinese coastal city
Nestlé affirmed that all its products were safe and were
not made from milk adulterated with melamine. On 2 October 2008, the
Taiwan Health ministry announced that six types of milk powders
Nestlé contained low-level traces of melamine,
and were "removed from the shelves".
As of 2013,
Nestlé has implemented initiatives to prevent
contamination and utilizes what it calls a "factory and farmers" model
that eliminates the middleman. Farmers bring milk directly to a
network of Nestlé-owned collection centers, where a computerized
system samples, tests, and tags each batch of milk. To reduce further
the risk of contamination at the source, the company provides farmers
with continuous training and assistance in cow selection, feed
quality, storage, and other areas. In 2014, the company opened the
Nestlé Food Safety Institute (NFSI) in Beijing that will help meet
China's growing demand for healthy and safe food, one of the top three
concerns among Chinese consumers. The NFSI announced it would work
closely with authorities to help provide a scientific foundation for
food-safety policies and standards, with support to include early
management of food-safety issues and collaboration with local
universities, research institutes and government agencies on
In an incident in 2015, weevils and fungus were found in
In June 2009, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was linked to Nestlé's
refrigerated cookie dough originating in a plant in Danville,
Virginia. In the US, it caused sickness in more than 50 people in 30
states, half of whom required hospitalisation. Following the outbreak,
Nestlé voluntarily recalled 30,000 cases of the cookie dough. The
cause was determined to be contaminated flour obtained from a raw
material supplier. When operations resumed, the flour used was
heat-treated to kill bacteria.
In May 2015, Food Safety Regulators from the Uttar Pradesh, India
found that samples of Nestlé's leading noodles
Maggi had up to 17
times beyond permissible safe limits of lead in addition to monosodium
glutamate. On 3 June 2015, New Delhi Government banned the
Maggi in New Delhi stores for 15 days because it found lead
and monosodium glutamate in the eatable beyond permissible limit.
Some of India's biggest retailers like Future Group, Big Bazaar,
Easyday, and Nilgiris had imposed a nationwide ban on
Maggi as of 3
June 2015. On 3 June 2015,
Nestlé India's shares fell down 11%
due to the incident. The
Gujarat FDA on 4 June 2015, banned the
noodles for 30 days after 27 out of 39 samples were detected with
objectionable levels of metallic lead, among other things. On 4
June 2015, Nestlé's share fell down by 3% over concerns related to
its safety standards. On 5 June 2015, Food Safety and Standards
India (FSSAI) orders banned all nine approved variants of
Maggi instant noodles from India, terming them "unsafe and hazardous"
for human consumption. On 5 June 2015
Nepal indefinitely banned
Maggi over concerns about lead levels in the product. On 5 June
2015, the Food Safety Agency,
United Kingdom launched an investigation
to find levels of lead in Maggi.
Maggi noodles has been withdrawn
in five African nations - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South
Sudan by a super-market chain after a complaint by the Consumer
Federation of Kenya, as a reaction to the ban in India.
As of August 2015, India's government made public that it was seeking
damages of nearly $100 million from
India for "unfair
trade practices" following the June ban on
Maggi noodles. The
6,400 million rupee suit was filed with the National Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission (NCDRC), regarded as the country's top consumer
court, but was settled on 13 August 2015. The court ruled that the
government ban on the
Nestlé product was both "arbitrary" and had
violated the "principles of natural justice." Although
not ordered to pay the fine requested in the government's suit, the
court ruled that the
Maggi noodle producers must "send five samples
from each batch of
Maggi [noodles] for testing to three labs and only
if the lead is found to be lower than permitted will they start
manufacturing and sale again." Although the tests have yet to take
Nestlé has already destroyed 400 million packets of Maggi
Maggi products were returned to the shelves in November
2015, accompanied by a
Nestlé advertising campaign to win
back the trust of members of the Indian community. At this time,
Maggi anthem by
Vir Das and Alien Chutney took the nation by
Nestlé resumed production of
Maggi at all five plants in
India on 30 November 2015.
Music and Entertainment
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World In 1993 plans were made to update and modernise the
overall tone of Walt Disney's EPCOT Center, including a major
refurbishment of The Land pavilion.
Kraft Foods withdrew its
sponsorship on 26 September 1993, with
Nestlé taking its place.
Nestlé and the
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort, a gradual
refurbishment of the pavilion began on 27 September 1993. In 2003,
Nestlé renewed its sponsorship of The Land; however, it was under
Nestlé would oversee its own refurbishment to both the
interior and exterior of the pavilion. Between 2004 and 2005, the
pavilion underwent its second major refurbishment.
sponsoring The Land in 2009.
Music festivals On 5 August 2010,
Nestlé and the Beijing Music
Festival signed an agreement to extend by three years Nestlé's
sponsorship of this international music festival.
Nestlé has been an
extended sponsor of the Beijing Music Festival for 11 years since
2000. The new agreement will continue the partnership through
Nestlé has partnered the
Salzburg Festival in Austria for 20 years.
Nestlé renewed its sponsorship of the Salzburg Festival
Together, they have created the "
Salzburg Festival Young
Conductors Award," an initiative that aims to discover young
conductors globally and to contribute to the development of their
Cycling Nestlé's sponsorship of the
Tour de France
Tour de France began in 2001 and
the agreement was extended in 2004, a move which demonstrated the
company's interest in the Tour. In July 2009,
Nestlé Waters and the
organisers of the
Tour de France
Tour de France announced that their partnership will
continue until 2013. The main promotional benefits of this partnership
will spread on four key brands from Nestlé's product portfolio:
Vittel, Powerbar, Nesquik, or Ricore.
Nestlé Waters sponsored the UK leg of the Tour de France
through its Buxton Natural Mineral Water brand. In 2002, Nestlé
announced it was main sponsor for the Great Britain Lionesses Women's
rugby league team for the team's second tour of Australia with its
Youth Sports On 27 January 2012, the International Association of
Athletics Federations announced that
Nestlé will be the main sponsor
for the further development of IAAF's Kids' Athletics Programme, which
is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world
of sports. The five-year sponsorship started in January 2012. On
11 February 2016,
Nestlé decided to withdraw its sponsorship of the
IAAF's Kids' Athletics Programmes because of doping and corruption
allegations against the IAAF.
Nestlé followed suit after other large
sponsors, including Adidas, also stopped supporting the IAAF.
Nestlé supports the Australian Institute of Sport
(AIS) on a number of nutrition and fitness fronts, funding a
Fellowship position in AIS Sports Nutrition; nutrition activities in
the AIS Dining Hall; research activities; and the development of
education resources for use at the AIS and in the public domain.
Controversy and criticisms
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Nestlé baby formula boycott
A boycott was launched in the United States on 7 July 1977, against
Nestlé corporation. It spread in the United States,
and expanded into Europe in the early 1980s. It was prompted by
concern about Nestlé's "aggressive marketing" of breast milk
substitutes, particularly in less economically developed countries
(LEDCs), largely among the poor. The boycott was officially
suspended in the U.S. in 1984, after
Nestlé agreed to follow an
international marketing code endorsed by the World Health
Organization. The boycott was also ended in the UK by
several organisations including the General Synod of the Church of
England in July 1994, the Royal College of Midwives in July
1997, and the Methodist Ethical Investment Committee in November
2005 and the Reformed Churches in November 2011 as a result of
the company’s inclusion in the responsible investment index
FTSE4Good Responsible Investment Index.
Nestlé is the only infant formula manufacturer to have
met the 104 criteria on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes
(FTSE4Good BMS Criteria) of the FTSE4Good Responsible Investment
Index. Nestlé’s inclusion in the index is based on results of
independent and transparent verifications conducted by Pricewaterhouse
Coopers every 18 months. Every year since 2009, Bureau Veritas
conducts independent assurance of compliance with the
and Instructions for Implementation of the WHO International Code of
Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Their Assurance Statements are
available in the public domain.[better source needed]
Possible competition violations
In May 2011, the debate over Nestlé's unethical marketing of infant
formula was relaunched in the Asia-Pacific region. Nineteen leading
Laos-based international NGOs, including Save the Children, Oxfam,
CARE International, Plan International, and
World Vision have launched
a boycott of
Nestlé and written an open letter to the company.
Among other unethical practices, the NGOs criticised the lack of
Laos and the provision of incentives to doctors and
nurses to promote the use of infant formula. In November 2011,
Bureau Veritas was commissioned by
Nestlé S.A. to provide independent
Nestlé Indochina’s compliance with the
for the implementation of the World Health Organisation (WHO)
International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (1981).
There was no significant evidence that indicated
Nestlé Indochina was
systematically operating in violation of the WHO Code and Lao PDR
Decree in Lao PDR. The presence of promotional materials in retail
units constituted a non-conformance, and Bureau Veritas recommended
that the Nestlé’s Policy and Procedures Manual on the Marketing of
breastmilk substitutes be reviewed and updated to ensure consistency
against the more stringent requirements of the Lao PDR Decree.
Ernest W. Lefever and the
Ethics and Public Policy Center
Ethics and Public Policy Center were
criticized for accepting a $25,000 contribution from
Nestlé while the
organization was in the process of developing a report investigating
medical care in developing nations which was never published. It was
alleged that this contribution affected the release of the report and
led to the author of the report submitting an article to Fortune
Magazine praising the company's position.
Nestlé has been under investigation in
China since 2011 over
allegations that the company bribed hospital staff to obtain the
medical records of patients and push its infant formula to increase
sales. This was found to be in violation of a 1995 Chinese
regulation that aims to secure the impartiality of medical staff by
banning hospitals and academic institutions from promoting instant
formula to families. As a consequence, six
Nestlé employers were
given prison sentences between one and six years.
Status of Potable Water
At the second
World Water Forum in 2000,
Nestlé and other
corporations persuaded the
World Water Council to change its statement
so as to reduce access to drinking water from a "right" to a "need."
Nestlé continues to take control of aquifers and bottle their water
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe later changed his
Ethiopian debt (2002)
Nestlé demanded that the nation of
Ethiopia repay US $6
million of debt to the company at a time when
Ethiopia was suffering a
Nestlé backed down from its demand after more than
8,500 people complained via e-mail to the company about its treatment
of the Ethiopian government. The company agreed to re-invest any money
it received from
Ethiopia back into the country. In 2003, Nestlé
agreed to accept an offer of US $1.5 million, and donated the money to
three active charities in Ethiopia: the Red Cross, Caritas, and
Children in cocoa production
Children in cocoa production and Harkin–Engel
In 2005, after the cocoa industry had not met the Harkin–Engel
Protocol deadline for certifying that the worst forms of child labour
(according to the International Labour Organization's Convention 182)
had been eliminated from cocoa production, the International Labor
Rights Fund filed a lawsuit in 2005 under the Alien Tort Claims Act
Nestlé and others on behalf of three Malian children. The
suit alleged the children were trafficked to Ivory Coast, forced into
slavery, and experienced frequent beatings on a cocoa
plantation. In September 2010, the US District Court for the
Central District of
California determined corporations cannot be held
liable for violations of international law and dismissed the suit. The
case was appealed to the US Court of Appeals. The Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision. In 2016, the U.S.
Supreme Court declined to hear Nestle's appeal of the Ninth Circuit's
The 2010 documentary
The Dark Side of Chocolate
The Dark Side of Chocolate brought attention to
purchases of cocoa beans from Ivorian plantations that use child slave
labour. The children are usually 12 to 15 years old and some are
trafficked from nearby countries. The first allegations that
child slavery is used in cocoa production appeared in 1998. In
late 2000, a BBC documentary reported the use of enslaved children in
the production of cocoa in West Africa. Other media
followed by reporting widespread child slavery and child trafficking
in the production of cocoa. In September 2001, Bradley
Alford, Chairman and CEO of
Nestlé USA, signed the Harkin–Engel
Protocol (commonly called the Cocoa Protocol), an international
agreement aimed at ending child labour in the production of
The 2014 Assessments of Shared Hazelnut Supply Chain In Turkey,
published by the Fair Labor Association, identified "a total of 46
child workers younger than 15 years" as well as "a total of 83 young
workers (between 15 and 18 years of age) working the same hours as
adults and performing similar hazardous and strenuous tasks, such as
carrying heavy bags of hazelnuts weighing up to 70 kilograms".
Chocolate price fixing
In Canada, the
Competition Bureau raided the offices of
(along with those of Hershey Canada and Mars Canada) in 2007 to
investigate the matter of price fixing of chocolates. It is alleged
that executives with
Nestlé (the maker of KitKat,
Coffee Crisp, and
Big Turk) colluded with competitors in Canada to inflate prices.
The Bureau alleged that competitors' executives met in restaurants,
coffee shops and at conventions, and that
Nestlé Canada CEO, Robert
Leonidas once handed a competitor an envelope containing his
company’s pricing information, saying: "I want you to hear it from
the top – I take my pricing seriously."
Nestlé and the other companies were subject to class-action lawsuits
for price fixing after the raids were made public in 2007. Nestlé
settled for $9 million, without admitting liability, subject to court
approval in the new year. A massive class-action lawsuit continues in
the United States.
Packaging claims (2008)
A coalition of environmental groups filed a complaint against Nestlé
to the Advertising Standards of Canada after
Nestlé took out
full-page advertisements in October 2008 claiming that "Most water
bottles avoid landfill sites and are recycled," "
Nestlé Pure Life is
a healthy, eco-friendly choice," and that "
Bottled water is the most
environmentally responsible consumer product in the
world." A spokesperson from one of the environmental
groups stated: "For
Nestlé to claim that its bottled water product is
environmentally superior to any other consumer product in the world is
not supportable." In their 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report,
Nestlé themselves stated that many of their bottles end up in the
solid-waste stream, and that most of their bottles are not
recycled. The advertising campaign has been called
Nestlé defended its ads, saying they
will show they have been truthful in their campaign.
Water bottling operations in California,
Oregon and Michigan
Considerable controversy has surrounded Nestlé's bottled water brand
Arrowhead sourced from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon
situated in a Native American Reservation at the base of the San
Bernardino Mountains in California. While corporate officials and
representatives of the governing Morongo tribe have asserted that the
company, which started its operations in 2000, is providing meaningful
jobs in the area and that the spring is sustaining current surface
water flows, a number of local citizen groups and environmental action
committees have started to question the amount of water drawn in the
light of the ongoing drought, and the restrictions that have been
placed on residential water use. Additionally, recent evidence
suggests that representatives of the Forest Service failed to follow
through on a review process for Nestlé's permit to draw water from
the San Bernardino wells, which expired in 1988. In San
Nestlé pays the U.S. Forest Service $524 yearly to pump
and bottle about 30 million gallons, even during droughts. Peter
Gleick, a co-founder of the Pacific Institute, that has focused on
water issues remarks, “Every gallon of water that is taken out of a
natural system for bottled water is a gallon of water that doesn’t
flow down a stream, that doesn’t support a natural ecosystem,” he
says. “Our public agencies have dropped the ball,”
The former forest supervisor Gene Zimmerman has explained that the
review process was rigorous, and that the Forest Service "didn't have
the money or the budget or the staff" to follow through on the review
of Nestlé's long-expired permit. However, Zimmerman's
observations and action have come under scrutiny for a number of
reasons. Firstly, along with the natural resource manager for Nestlé,
Larry Lawrence, Zimmerman is a board member for and played a vital
role in the founding of the nonprofit Southern
Foundation, of which
Nestlé is the most noteworthy and longtime
donor. Secondly, the Zimmerman Community Partnership Award – an
award inspired by Zimmerman's actions and efforts "to create a
public/private partnership for resource development and community
engagement" – was presented by the foundation to Nestlé's Arrowhead
Water division in 2013. Finally, while Zimmerman retired from his
former role in 2005, he currently works as a paid consultant for
Nestlé, leading many investigative journalists to question
Zimmerman's allegiances prior to his retirement from the Forest
In April 2015, the city of Cascade Locks,
Oregon and the Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is using water for a salmon
hatchery, applied with the
Oregon Water Resources Department to
permanently trade their water rights to Nestlé; an action which does
not require a public-interest review.
Nestlé approached them in 2008
and they had been considering to trade their well water with Oregon's
Oxbow Springs water, a publicly owned water source in the Columbia
River Gorge National Scenic Area, and to sell the spring water at over
100 million gallons of water per year to Nestlé. The plan has been
criticized by legislators and 80,000 citizens. The
250,000-square-foot, $50 million
Nestlé bottling plant in Cascade
Locks with an unemployment rate of 18.8 percent would have 50
employees and would increase property-tax collections by 67
Oregon Water Resources Department was expected to
issue a proposal in 2015, that would allow
Nestlé to utilise spring
water for its bottling operation.[better source needed]
Although a 2005 court settlement gave
Nestlé the right to pump 250
gallons per minute (GPM) from a well in unincorporated Osceola
Township, Osceola County, Michigan,
Nestlé has tried to increase that
rate to 400 GPM. Its bottled water is sold under the Ice Mountain
Spring label. The local planning commission denied the application to
build a booster station to increase the capacity of the pipeline that
delivers water to a water truck depot some distance from the town.
Local citizens mounted considerable grassroots opposition to the plan,
with 55 opponents testifying against the proposal at a meeting
attended by almost 500 people in July 2017. The litigation has been
costly to the small town, which receives its only compensation from a
$200 annual pumping fee. Regarding the 1976 Michigan Safe Drinking
Water Act, section 17, a measure precipitated by Nestlé's previous
demands, Bill Cobbs, a current Democratic gubernatorial candidate
said, "This is wrong -- when this act was written in 1976 it was never
intentioned that water would be up for sale." The "David vs.
Goliath" situation is drawing increasing national attention.
Nestlé approaches water purely as a commodity. In 1994 Helmut
Maucher, Nestlé's CEO commented, “Springs are like petroleum. You
can always build a chocolate factory. But springs you have or you
don’t have.” His successor, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, was criticized
when, in a 2005 documentary, he similarly promoted and rationalized
the commodification of water, saying: “One perspective held by
various NGOs—which I would call extreme—is that water should be
declared a human right.
Ukrainian boycott of Russian-manufactured
See also: Do not buy Russian goods!
In August 2015, the Ukrainian TV channel Ukrayina refused to hire a
worker of the weekly magazine Krayina, Alla Zheliznyak, as a host of a
cooking show because she speaks Ukrainian. The demand to only hire a
Russian-speaking host was allegedly set by a sponsor of the show –
Nesquik, which is a brand of
Nestlé S.A. Activists of the
Vidsich civil movement held a rally near the office of the company in
Nestlé of discriminating against people who speak
Ukrainian and supporting the
Russification of Ukraine. They also
added that goods sold in
Ukraine are manufactured in Russia. Activists
threatened to start a boycott campaign against
Nestlé if they will
not fulfill their requirements. In September 2015, there were "Russian
kills!" flashmobs protesting against
Nestlé products that are
manufactured in Russia.
Forced labour in Thai fishing industry
At the conclusion of a year-long self-imposed investigation in
Nestlé disclosed that seafood products sourced in
Thailand were produced with forced labour.
Nestlé is not a major
purchaser of seafood in Southeast Asia, but does some business in
Thailand – primarily for its Purina cat food. The study found
virtually all U.S. and European companies buying seafood from Thailand
are exposed to the same risks of abuse in their supply chains.
This type of disclosure was a surprise to many in the industry because
international companies rarely acknowledge abuses in supply
Nestlé was expected to launch a year-long program in 2016 focused on
protecting workers across its supply chain. The company has promised
to impose new requirements on all potential suppliers, train boat
owners and captains about human rights, and hire auditors to
check for compliance with new rules.
In September 2017, an investigation conducted by NGO Mighty Earth
found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by
Nestlé and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in
national parks and other protected areas in
Ivory Coast and
Ghana. The countries are the world’s two largest
The report documents how in several national parks and other protected
areas, 90% or more of the land mass has been converted to cocoa.
Less than four percent of
Ivory Coast remains densely forested, and
the chocolate companies’ laissez-faire approach to sourcing has
driven extensive deforestation in
Ghana as well. In Ivory Coast,
deforestation has pushed chimpanzees into just a few small pockets,
and reduced the country’s elephant population from several hundred
thousand to about 200-400.
Corporate social responsibility program involvements
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Nestlé efforts relating to social responsibility programs include:
World Cocoa Foundation: In 2000,
Nestlé and other chocolate companies
formed the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). The WCF is an international
membership organization representing more than 100 member companies
across the cocoa value chain. It is committed to creating a
sustainable cocoa economy by putting farmers first, promoting
agricultural & environmental stewardship, and strengthening
development in cocoa-growing communities.
Sustainable Agriculture Initiative: In 2002, Nestlé, Unilever, and
Danone created the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform,
a non-profit organization to facilitate sharing of knowledge and
initiatives to support the development and implementation of
sustainable agriculture practices involving the different stakeholders
of the food chain. The SAI Platform has more than 60 members, which
actively share the same view on sustainable agriculture seen as "the
efficient production of safe, high-quality agricultural products, in a
way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and
economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities,
and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species." The SAI
Platform developed (or co-developed) Principles and Practices for
sustainable water management at the farm level; recommendations for
Sustainability Performance Assessment (SPA); a standardised
methodology for the dairy sector to assess green house gas emissions;
an Executives Training on Sustainable Sourcing; and many more.
One instance of Nestlé's impact on sustainable agricultural practices
has been documented in academic literature.
Creating Shared Value:
Creating Shared Value (CSV) is a business
concept intended to encourage businesses to create economic and social
value simultaneously by focusing on the social issues that they are
capable of addressing. In 2006,
Nestlé adopted the CSV approach,
focusing on three areas – nutrition, water and rural
development – as these are core to their business
Nestlé now publishes an annual progress report on
Nestlé also established the Creating Shared
Value Prize, which is awarded every other year with the aim of
rewarding the best examples of CSV initiatives worldwide and to
encourage other companies to adopt a shared value approach. These
initiatives should take a business-oriented approach in addressing
challenges in nutrition, water or rural development. The winner can
win up to CHF 500,000.
Nestlé was an early mover in the shared value
space and hosts a global forum, the
Creating Shared Value Global
Nestlé Cocoa Plan: In October 2009,
Nestlé announced "The Cocoa
Plan." The company is working to get 100 percent of its chocolate
portfolio using certified sustainable cocoa. For third-party
Nestlé has partnered with UTZ Certified to ensure that
best practices are being used. Many of Nestlé’s efforts are focused
on the Ivory Coast, where 40 percent of the world's cocoa comes from.
The company has developed a higher-yielding, more drought- and
disease-resistant cocoa tree; and they have given 3 million of these
super trees to farmers thus far and plan to give away 12 million of
them in total. They are also training farmers in efficient and
sustainable growing techniques, which focuses on better farming
practices, including pruning trees, pest control (with an emphasis on
integrated pest management) and harvesting, as well as caring for the
environment. In addition, they have built 23 new schools so far and
plan to build 40 in total by 2015. Another part of the plan has
been to address child labor.
Nestlé says that according to U.S.
statistics, there are about 800,000 children who work the cocoa supply
chain. With this in mind,
Nestlé approached the Fair Labor
Association to map out strategies to help curb child labor in the
cocoa sector, and these efforts – including community education and
the building of schools – have become a focus of the Cocoa
Ecolaboration: On 22 June 2009,
Nespresso and Rainforest
Alliance signed a pact called "Ecolaboration". One of the shared goals
is to reduce the environmental impacts and increase the social
benefits of coffee cultivation in enough tropical regions so that 80
percent of Nespresso's coffee comes from
Rainforest Alliance Certified
farms by the year 2013. Certified farms comply with comprehensive
standards covering all aspects of sustainable farming, including soil
and water conservation, protection of wildlife and forests, and
ensuring that farm workers, women and children have all the proper
rights and benefits, such as good wages, clean drinking water, access
to schools, and health care and security.
Nescafé Plan: In 2010,
Nestlé launched the
Nescafé Plan, an
initiative to increase sustainable coffee production and make
sustainable coffee farming more accessible to farmers. The plan aims
to increase the company’s supply of coffee beans without clearing
rainforests, as well as using less water and fewer agrochemicals.
According to Nestlé,
Nescafé will invest 350 million Swiss francs
(about $336 million) over the next ten years to expand the company's
agricultural research and training capacity to help benefit many of
the 25 million people who make their living growing and trading
Rainforest Alliance and the other NGOs in the Sustainable
Agriculture Network will support
Nestlé in meeting the objectives of
Health care and nutrition product development: In September 2010,
Nestlé said that it would invest more than $500 million between 2011
and 2020 to develop health and wellness products to help prevent and
treat major ailments like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease,
and Alzheimer’s, which are placing an increasing burden on
governments at a time when budgets are being squeezed.
a wholly owned subsidiary,
Nestlé Health Science, as well as a
research body, the
Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.
Membership in Fair Labour Association: In 2011,
Nestlé started to
work with the
Fair Labor Association
Fair Labor Association (FLA), a non-profit,
multi-stakeholder association that works with major companies to
improve working conditions in developing countries, to assess labor
conditions and compliance risks throughout Nestlé’s supply chain of
hazelnuts and cocoa. On 29 February 2012,
Nestlé became the first
company in the food industry to join the FLA. Building on Nestlé's
efforts under the Cocoa Plan, the FLA will send independent experts to
Ivory Coast in 2012 and where evidence of child labour is found, the
FLA will identify root causes and advise
Nestlé how to address them
in sustainable and lasting ways. As a Participating Company,
Nestlé has committed to ten Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible
Sourcing, and to upholding the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct
throughout their supply chains, starting with farms.
Rural Development Framework program: In 2012,
Nestlé developed the
Rural Development Framework, which supports farmers and cocoa growing
communities. It is an investment program aimed at improving
infrastructure, increasing access to safe water, address financing and
market efficiency gaps, and improving labor conditions.
Partnership with IFRC:
Nestlé has had a long-standing partnership
with the International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) to increase access to safe water and sanitation in
rural communities. In recent years, the partnership has brought clean
drinking water and sanitation facilities to 100,000 people in Ivory
Coast's cocoa communities.
Nestlé committed to contributing five
million Swiss francs during 2014–2019 to the IFRC.
Recognition and awards
In May 2006, Nestlé's executive board decided to adapt the existing
Nestlé management systems to full conformity with the international
ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and OHSAS 18001
(Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems) and to certify all
Nestlé factories against these standards by 2010. In the
meanwhile, a lot of the
Nestlé factories have obtained these
Nestlé Purina received in 2010 the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality
Award for their excellence in the areas of leadership, customer and
market focus, strategic planning, process management, measurement,
analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and results.
In March 2011,
Nestlé became the first infant formula company to meet
the FTSE4Good Index criteria in full.
In September 2011,
Nestlé occupied 19th position in the Universum's
global ranking of Best Employers Worldwide. According to a survey
by Universum Communications,
Nestlé was, in 2011, the best employer
to work for in Switzerland.
International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST)
Nestlé in 2010 with the Global Food Industry Award.
In May 2011,
Nestlé won the 27th World Environment Center (WEC) Gold
Medal award for its commitment to environmental sustainability.
On 19 April 2012, The Great Place to Work® Institute Canada mentioned
Nestlé Canada Inc. as one of the '50 Best Large and Multinational
Workplaces' in Canada (with more than 1,000 employees working in
Canada and/or worldwide).
On 21 May 2012,
Gartner published their annual Supply Chain Top 25, a
list with global supply chain leaders.
Nestlé ranks 18th in the
In September 2012,
Nestlé was among the top-scoring companies on the
Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).
Nestlé retained its number one position in charity Oxfam's
sustainability scorecard and improved its ratings on the issues of
land, workers, and climate.
Nestlé received the Henry Spira Corporate Progress Awards
for altering its policies and practices to minimize adverse impacts on
animals.[better source needed]
In March 2015,
Nestlé ranked second in Oxfam's Behind the Brands
scorecard, where the NGO ranks the world's 'Big 10' consumer food and
beverage companies on their policies and commitments to improve food
security and sustainability.
Nestlé assumed the number one ranking
for land rights while the company also outperformed its peers on
transparency and water.
Nestlé is pronounced (French pronunciation: [nɛsle];
English: /ˈnɛsleɪ, ˈnɛsəl, ˈnɛsli/, formerly: /ˈnɛsəlz/).
Nestlé Strategy), Helmut Maucher, French
translation by Monique Thiollet, Maxima Ed., Paris, 1995,
Smarties Book Prize
Farfel the Dog
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nestlé.
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Nesquik Duo Cereal7
Oats & More
100 Grand Bar
Kit Kat Chunky
Kit Kat Senses
Milo (chocolate bar)
Nestlé Baker's Choice
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Natural Style Muesli
Gerber Life Insurance Company
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Eugenio Minvielle Lagos
Nestea European Championship Tour
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International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
1 Currently manufactured by
General Mills in the United States
and Canada. Produced by Cereal Partners under the
elsewhere. 2 Brand owned by General Mills; US and Canadian
production rights controlled by
Nestlé under license.
3 US production rights owned by The Hershey Company.
4 Canadian production rights owned by The Hershey Company.
5 US rights and production owned by
Smarties Candy Company, with
a different product.
6 US rights and specific trade dress owned by Nestlé; rights
elsewhere owned by Associated British Foods. 7 Produced by Cereal
Partners, branded as Nestlé. 8 Produced by Cereal Partners, and
Nestlé in The United Kingdom, and Ireland. Produced by Post
Foods, elsewhere. 9 Philippine production rights owned by Alaska
Milk Corporation. 10 Used only in Indonesia, Thailand, and
Cambodia. 11 Used only in the Philippines. 12 Used only in
Food industry criticism
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Swiss Market Index
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ISNI: 0000 0001 0066 4948
BNF: cb119918512 (data)