Nestlé: Company Profile

Nestlé are know for producing a variety of sweets, drinks and cereals but also for being the target of the world's longest running boycott.

Read on to find out more about this and other ethical issues related to the company.

Last updated: November 2017

Annual Revenue$90.13 billion a year


Other BrandsOver 100 including Quality Street, Buxton Water, Shreddies, KitKat 


Company Score0.5 out of 20


Ethical Consumer Best Buy?No


Ethical issues by category

In October 2017, Nestle was marked down for its failure to source 100% certified cocoa. We searched its website and found a 'Nestle Cocoa Plan'. However, the scheme failed to address how it was going to tackle the widespread forced child labour prevalent in the cocoa supply chain. 

As the issue of child and slave labour within the cocoa supply chain had been raised as an issue since before 2000, Ethical Consumer expected Nestlé to be actively sourcing cocoa that was certified by third parties. 

Nestle receives a worst rating for palm oil policy and practice because its statement is vague and confusing. The company stated that "in 2013 we achieved 100% certified palm oil products". Yet the company gave numbers for the amount of palm oil and palm kernal oil that it used, and the amount of certified palm and palm kernal oil that it used. Based on these numbers it appears most of its palm oil is not certified, despite its statement from 2013. 


In February 2017 Ethical Consumer viewed the 2016 'The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare' (BBFAW) report. 

The assessment rates companies based on their published information surrounding animal welfare. Companies are ranked from Tier 1 which indicates a leader in the industry, down to Tier 6 which shows a total disregard for animal welfare. Nestle was marked in Tier 3, and had failed to make progress since the 2013 BBFAW report. 

Therefore Nestle lost a mark in the Animal Rights cateogory for failing to make any significant progess.

During the 2016 election cycle Nestle and its employees gave $84,950 to US political candidates, with a moderately even split between the Democrats and the Republicans. It also spent $3,130,000 on political lobbying in 2016, and $2,477,000 in 2017.

In 2017 Nestle was found to be a member of several high profile international lobby groups.

These included:

The European Roundtable of Industrialists  Ethical Consumer considered the European Roundtable of Industrialist to be a high level corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence, at the potential detriment of the environment and human and animal rights.

The World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum was a lobby group which campaigned for greater economic liberalisation and deregulation. Ethical Consumer considered the WEF to be a corporate lobby group which lobbied for free trade at the expense of the environment, animal welfare, human rights or health protection.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This was regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby group which exerted corporate influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights.

In-Depth Information

See the Nestlé company page for detailed company information, background stories behind the ratings direct from our Corporate Critic database, and 'email the company' tool.

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