GLOBAL – Nestlé, a Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation, has released a report revealing the company’s efforts to maintain the highest standards of compliance regarding responsible marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS).

According to Marie Chantal Messier, head of food and industry affairs at Nestlé, a well-drafted and a well-implemented legislation is the most effective way to establish the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) compliance.

Messier added that compliance with local regulations and the company’s policy for implementing the WHO Code is a priority at all levels of Nestlé, and the company investigates all allegations of non-compliance. 

In 2022, Nestlé recorded 96 cases of non-compliance with the company’s policy to implement the WHO code which includes recommendations to regulate the marketing of BMS, feeding bottles and teats. 

In the company’s 2022 WHO Code Report report, 81% of non-compliance cases were detected by Nestlé’s WHO Code management system, which included internal monitoring and a whistleblowing system.

Of all cases, 39% are connected to digital and e-commerce concerns. Non-compliance cases decreased from 2021 (116 cases) and 2020 (121 cases). 

The report showed that the most common root causes of third-party non-compliance were a lack of attention to the rules (50%), followed by a lack of awareness (24%) and absence of legislation (15%). 

In the recent report, Messier promises to ensure continuous improvement, taking corrective actions each year to address non-compliance issues and advance the company’s WHO Code compliance record.

“We will host local, in-person workshops on WHO Code Compliance and update our internal compliance reporting system with regular reporting of several key performance indicators,” she noted.

“We also support increased comprehension of and compliance with our policy among third-party partners both in our sphere of influence.”

She added that the company also advocates implementing training for its distributors to address the predominant underlying factors concerning external entities.

This training is designed to acquaint them with the regulations, compliance-related concerns, and the communication of such matters facilitated through the company’s Speak Up platform.

Through the company’s Speak Up reporting system, external stakeholders and employees can report potential instances of non-compliance, including WHO Code-related matters.

Messier also highlighted that in recent years, Nestlé is dedicated to promoting the best nutrition for children worldwide.

“Nestlé was the first company to voluntarily implement recommendations from the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Nestlé has evolved its policy for implementing the WHO Code,” she said. 

Earlier this year, Nestlé stopped the promotion of infant formula for babies aged 0-6 months as a minimum in all countries, including where no regulations exist.

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