Nestle has excellent products and well-known global brands. But look at its corporate reputation!
Nestlé is the world's leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company. Apart from its commitment to safety and quality and its respect for diversity, Nestlé is committed to a number of cultural values. These values come partly from its Swiss roots and have been developed during its history. They are also evolving so as to support the permanent reshaping of the Company.
But is Nestle true to its "Shared Values" commitment all the time?
Some of Nestlé's past and current business actions have attracted widespread criticism. The most prominent and well documented controversy concerns its methods of marketing of processed cow's milk or baby formula (infant or more recently follow on formula) as a substitute for breastfeeding, to mothers across the world including developing countries. Promotion in economically disadvantaged countries is of particular concern. Nestlé's activities attracted worldwide attention during the Nestlé boycott of 1977. The company's marketing and PR teams have worked to improve the public perception of the company's activities concerns over the years, launching some Fairtrade products in the interim, and several grind-at-home Fairtrade coffees in Sweden, which led to a new round of criticism.Wikipedia
The Nestle Corporate Reputation:
1) The Ethical Reputation Of Food Multinationals
The Swiss research firm Covalence released its annual ranking of the overall ethical performance of multinational corporations. The idea behind the Covalence research is that there's value -- both for companies and consumers -- in measuring corporations against an ethical standard. (We're hoping this idea also applies to Wall Street firms.)
To complete its ethics index, Covalence compiled both quantitative and qualitative data, spanning seven years, for 581 companies. The data encompass 45 criteria that include labor standards, waste management and human rights records. And because it is a reputation index, the Covalence survey also incorporates media, industry and NGO documents into its evaluation.
Of course, while the index had its winners --in food and beverages: the first-, second-, third-place and fourth-place companies were Unilever, Pepsico , Danone and Kraft, respectively -- we were more interested in the companies with the lowest ethical ratings. Among those companies with the most awful records are some of the usual suspects like...Nestle: No.16.
The table below presents the results of Covalence Ethical Ranking 2009 for the Food & Beverages sector.
Rank | Company
1. Unilever NV
2. Pepsico Inc.
4. Kraft Foods Inc.
5. Cadbury plc
6. Diageo plc
7. The Coca-Cola Company
8. General Mills Inc.
9. Anheuser-Busch InBev
10. SABMiller plc
11. Kellogg Company
12. Heineken NV
13. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
14. Campbell Soup Co.
15. Pepsi Bottling Group Inc.
16. Nestlé S.A.
17. HJ Heinz Co.
18. Sara Lee Corp.
19. ConAgra Foods Inc.
20. Hershey Co.
2)Least Responsible Company
Nestlé won a global internet poll for the world's 'least responsible company' coinciding with the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2005. Nestlé received 29% of the votes. This was more than twice that of joint second Monsanto and Dow Chemicals (of Bhopal infamy), each on 14% .
"Many people from all over the world voted on the "Public Eye" website for the most blatant case of corporate irresponsibility. The clear winner and thus laureate of the Public's Award is Nestlé. The Swiss food and beverages company is criticised for labour conflicts in Colombia and for its aggressive marketing methods for baby food, which jeopardize breastfeeding."
3)Most Boycotted Company
What do Nike, Coca Cola, McDonald's and Nestlé have in common? Apart from being among the world's most well-known brands, they happen to be the most boycotted brands on the planet.
That finding came from global GMIPoll, an online opinion poll that surveyed 15,500 consumers in 17 countries.