I can't quite believe I haven't been involved in the Boycott Nestle campaign until now. Of course I've heard about it over the years, but for some reason or other just never got around to finding out what it was all about.
For someone so involved and passionate about breastfeeding, I'm ashamed it's taken me so long but as they say, better late than never and thankfully my eyes have been well and truly opened.
Frankly, I'm disappointed and upset about what I've discovered. I had no idea how much suffering this company causes to people in third world countries. I had no idea how many underhand techniques they use to persuade families that formula is as good as breastmilk. I had no idea how badly they treat their employees. I had no idea child slavery is part of the Nestle package. I had no idea they broke so many formula marketing rules as do some other well-known brands.
Worse than that is knowing that I joined in their money-making enterprise, like so many other unwitting parents, by specifically seeking out Nestle products to collect the box tops offering free books for schools to help my children's school. After all, the school regularly sends letters home to parents asking us to collect the box tops!!!
When my 6 year old announced yesterday, 'Look mummy, they're wholegrain so they're good for you' I was shocked. Not because she knew this, but because I had been reading about their bad practices just a few days ago and had still put a box of Cheerios in my shopping trolley. I didn't even notice before or think about noticing who made this cereal. 'The little oats with a hole' are a favourite in our house with the children and without thinking about it at all they went into my shopping trolley alongside goodness knows what else.
Well, no more.
From now onward, I too am boycotting Nestle. Any company that pushes formula onto unsuspecting parents and particularly those who don't have the knowledge that we do about the importance of breastfeeding, is not getting my support. I abhor the thought of someone else's children been used as slaves, particularly when I look at my own children and feel my deep love for them overwhelm me. I am sickened by the very thought of babies dying because their mothers can no longer breastfeed after being given free formula until their milk has dried up and then being left unable to afford to buy the very formula that causes this happening.
I could go on but I won't waste any more of my time on Nestle. All I can do is ensure I don't buy any more of their products and make sure my children are aware of why our family doesn't support such a company.
This morning, over breakfast we studied the box again. I explained to my children and husband what I'd learnt about Nestle and the Boycott Nestle campaign. My eldest daughter, who is nine, in particular was extremely interested and will today be telling her teacher and friends all about it. My husband asked me to email him more information about it so he can forward it to his friends and colleagues. And if you want to spread the word and find out why you too need to boycott Nestle then follow these links right now:
Baby Milk Action
PhD in Parenting