In October 2017, Nestlé was marked down for its failure to source 100% certified cocoa. We searched its website and found a 'Nestlé 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.
Nestlé 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 kernel oil that it used, and the amount of certified palm and palm kernel 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. Nestlé was marked in Tier 3, and had failed to make progress since the 2013 BBFAW report.
Therefore Nestlé lost a mark in the Animal Rights category for failing to make any significant progress.
During the 2016 election cycle Nestlé 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 Nestlé was found to be a member of several high profile international lobby groups.
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.