URC to decide whether to continue Nestle boycott

By staff writers
July 1, 2010

Campaigners say that this weekend’s Assembly of the United Reformed Church (URC) presents an ideal opportunity to put pressure on Nestlé to stop its systematic violations of the World Health Assembly's marketing requirements for baby foods.

It comes as both the Church of England and the Methodist Church continue to defend their multi-million pound investments in the company, whilst the URC have until this point taken an ethical stand against the company by not investing.

Nestlé claims its baby milk 'protects' babies. Campaigners such as baby Milk Action say it knows babies fed on it are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die.

The Assembly is due to debate the Church's boycott on investing funds in Nestlé and, possibly, the Church's promotion of the boycott.

Mike Brady from Baby Milk Action said: “We are very pleased that the URC has been a long-time supporter of the campaign, as well as one of Baby Milk Action's funders, and hope this will be an opportunity to update the membership and reinvigorate the Church's involvement in the campaign.”

The URC’s Church and Society Committee decided in 2007 to review its 1992 boycott. Since then URC representatives have met with Nestlé twice though the ecumenical Church Investors Group. In March this year, a decision was made to propose to the Assembly that Nestlé should no longer be treated on a different investment basis from other companies.

Baby Milk Action says it is concerned that it was not approached or invited to brief the Committee prior to its decision and was only informed by the Committee on 21 June 2010, less than two weeks before the Assembly meets and considers whether to endorse its decision to invest in Nestlé.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.