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Néstle boycott - reasons for criticism

Nestlé Criticism & Scandals - How to boycott products

Do Nestlé and sustainability go together - and why is it that there is constant criticism and scandals surrounding the world's largest food company? I have long since found my answer to this question and know why I avoid buying Nestlé products as much as possible. As best I can - because they often hide behind third-party products with a different brand name.

In this article, I would like to show you why Nestlé is subject to constant criticism, how you can boycott the company's products in your everyday life and why it all makes sense.

Why you shouldn't buy Nestlé products

This video by Moritz Neumeier made me realize that CareElite still lacks a clear opinion on the Group's work. I am making up for this with the utmost conviction.

I have always had my reasons for boycotting Nestlé products as much as possible. But during my research, I regularly shook my head again at how heartless this company really is. In the end, of course, my Nestlé boycott became even stronger. Before I show you how you can prevent yourself from supporting the company in your everyday life, I would like to 5 good reasons to boycott Nestlé.

1. Nestlé promotes child labor

The world's largest food company regularly faces class action lawsuits from people and companies demonstrating against child labor in its own supply chains. Nestlé has been facing criticism for more than a decade and is increasingly concerned with child labor on cocoa plantations - for example in Ghana or the Ivory Coast. This is modern slavery - children work here instead of going to school. This violates the guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

2. Nestlé privatizes water sources

The company generates almost 8 billion euros in sales every year with packaged drinking water alone. Even though the plastic bottles contain Microplastics settles in the water, it is basically clean. How the water gets into the bottles, however, is anything but clean. Nestlé is privatizing the land above the world's largest sources of drinking water in order to sell it at an overpriced price. The French municipality of Vittel is a prominent example of criticism regarding the privatization of water sources. Nestlé pumps 750,000 cubic meters of water out of the ground there every year.₁ The consequences? The groundwater is sinking. And farmers' private wells have been closed and they now have to buy and transport their water from neighboring villages. The fact that CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is said to have said that water is not a human right no longer surprises anyone.

3. Nestlé pollutes the environment

Néstle boycott - reasons for criticism
A poster from "Heldenmarkt", which is primarily directed against Nestlé's Nespresso coffee capsules.

This picture of Marius from our community has become on the Facebook page of CareElite shared hundreds of thousands of times within a few hours. Nestlé is making a lot of money with the Nespresso capsules - because they save consumers unnecessary problems with the coffee filter. But the customer pays the equivalent of €70 for a kilogram of coffee - leaving 8,000 tons of waste a year. Which unfortunately increases Plastic waste in the environment is left behind.

In addition to the capsules, we also find juice and cocoa packets and their straws, ice cream containers, water cups and, of course, Nestlé water bottles on the beaches during our clean-up campaigns. This is because there is almost no deposit system like the one in Germany - and so the waste ends up in nature, especially in developing countries in South-East Asia, costing the lives of millions of animals every year. But Nestlé also wants to make profits in places where the level of education and waste disposal systems are still inadequate and are only improving very slowly.

The company has also been criticized in particular for the increased use of palm oil. The fact that the extraction of Palm oil destroys rainforestI had already described this to you in the corresponding article.

4. Nestlé accepts health consequences

The company gears its own products towards profit and growth, and in doing so forgoes health aspects. In the early days, for example, Nestlé realized that money could be made with a substitute for breast milk. In response, the company created its own products in powder form and advertised them aggressively and misleadingly. Nestlé gave the impression that children grow just as well with artificial milk as with natural breast milk. The criticism of Nestlé that the company has demonstrably caused and condoned the death of infants is therefore justified. A Report of the organization "Changing Markets Foundation provides information.

However, Nestlé also sees the market changing towards more conscious consumption and healthy eating. That is why the products will certainly become healthier in the future. Because what is good for the customer is also good for the company. It is a pity that this rethink is driven by the profit motive and not by the heart of the company. Which brings us to the fifth major point of criticism.

5. Nestlé works heartlessly and unethically...

... and yet tries to present itself as the opposite. For good reason. Because criticism and scandals from an ethical and ecological point of view are the only thing that can really threaten the company. But Nestlé's goal is to make money. No matter how - but as much as possible. Water is a product and not a human right. For its own product range Animal testing carried out. Doctors are bribed and other people lose access to free drinking water. Nestlé takes water from the poor to enrich itself - and calls it Pure Life. Unfortunately, these people can no longer afford the water. In my opinion, a company that knowingly does bad things to people all over the world in order to make money from it is working without a soul.

How you can boycott Nestlé

Néstle boycott - reasons for criticism
Drinking tap water from the tap is about 400 times cheaper than buying packaged water from Nestlé.

So Nestlé is anything but sustainable. There is no shortage of reasons for a boycott. But does it really have a noticeable effect if a single person gives up Nestlé products? Logically! Because you are not alone. And if lots of (small) people all over the world do lots of small things, then something changes.

Here I have listed a few of the things you can do to boycott Nestlé and demand change at the same time.

Which brands & products belong to Nestlé?

First of all, it is important to know the company's brands and products. Here I would like to give you a brief overview of Nestlé's 2000 best-known brands in Germany.

Beverage brands from Nestlé

The Group makes its profits primarily in the beverages segment. Products that are difficult to assign to the Group from a customer perspective at first glance include the following:

  • Dolce Gusto (coffee machine)
  • Nescafé (coffee)
  • Nespresso (coffee)
  • Chocochino (coffee)
  • Nesquik (cocoa & ice cream)
  • Nestea (iced tea)
  • Vittel (water)
  • San Pellegrino (water)
  • Acqua Panna (water)

Snacks and ready meals from Nestlé

In addition to coffee, water and iced tea, the food company also sells snacks and other meals worldwide under various brand names. Here are a few examples for you:

  • Herta
  • Wagner Pizza
  • Maggi
  • Thomy
  • KitKat
  • Mövenpick
  • After Eight
  • Smarties

Nestlé also holds shares in the cosmetics brand L'Oreal and even sells pet food under the Gourmet and Felix brands. By googling, you will find many detailed graphics with an overview of all Nestlé brands.

Change your habits & boycott Nestlé

Unfortunately, just knowing the brand names is not enough to make your purchases sustainable. But don't worry - you just need to change your habits and think outside the box. To replace the purchase of Nestlé products sustainably and bring about change, I would like to give you the following tips along the way.

  1. Drink water from the tap: Get a Stainless steel drinking bottle or a Glass bottle and enjoy the water from the tap. We have the privilege of getting cheap, drinkable water from the tap. So why bring water into our homes in plastic bottles at 400 times the price?
  2. Raise your voice & demonstrate: The renunciation of the company's products is a logical reaction to the media criticism of Nestlé. But you can also take to the streets and join a demonstration against the food company. You can organize one privately, for example, but also as an activist with Greenpeace or other environmental organizations.
  3. Believe in it & tell others: Every person can bring about change. Nestlé benefits from the fact that many individual people buy its products. Of course, the reverse is also true. You can also pass on your attitude and tell others about your reasons for avoiding Nestlé products.

Nestlé's criticism is fully justified

Finally, I don't want to withhold this documentary about Nestlé from you. It's not about destroying the company and its profits - it's about ensuring that the company acts sustainably in the future, as it is responsible for the consequences of its profit-hungry work. Whether it's waste in the environment, child labor or the decline of groundwater in entire regions.

The Nestlé criticism is completely justified due to such scandals and a boycott of the products is a logical, human reaction. I hope that this article has helped you to understand why Nestlé is criticized so much. And that the tips will help you to support the company less or not at all in future.

Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with Nestlé that you would like to share? Then please write me a comment.

Stay clean,

Living plastic-free - Less plastic waste in the environment

PS.: In the Environmental protection blog you will get many more hints and tips around a sustainable and conscious life. Learn for example the biggest environmental problems of our time and how you can solve them in your everyday life.


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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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