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Type Public Limited Multinational
Founded 1905
Headquarters Vevey, Switzerland
Key people Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman), Paul Bulcke (CEO)
Industry Food processing and packaged foods
Products Coffee, dairy products, cereals, bottled water, ice cream, pet foods, baby food

Nestlé is a public limited multinational with head quarters in Vaud, Switzerland. The company manufactures and markets processed food and has diversified holdings in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, medical equipment and weight loss industries. Nestlé was founded in 1905 from a merger between Anglo-Swiss Milk Company and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé Company. It specializes in the production of baby foods, bottled water, dairy products, breakfast cereals, ice cream, nutrition, beverages, chocolate and confectionery as well as a diverse array of prepared foods and miscellaneous pet care products. [1] Nestle is the world's largest food company and the world's largest producer of dairy products. [2], [3]

Nestlé global brands include Nescafé coffee, Perrier bottled water, Ralston Purina pet food, Buitoni, Friskies, Maggi, Nestea, and Nestlé. U.S. brands include Baby Ruth candy bars, Taster's Choice coffee, Good Start and Nan infant formulas, Libby's juice, Carnation milk, Alpo pet food, Stouffer's frozen foods, PowerBar , Poland Spring bottled water as well as Dreyer's and Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The company ranks number one in terms of food sales. Nestlé is the world leader in coffee (Nescafé) and one of the leading makers of bottled water (Perrier). It is also a top pet food maker (Purina). The company also owns Gerber Products and Jenny Craig. In addition to its own products, Nestlé owns about 52% of Alcon Inc. (ophthalmic drugs, contact-lens solutions, and equipment for ocular surgery) and some 30% of cosmetics giant L'Oréal.[4]

In the fiscal year ending in December of 2009, the company reported sales of approximately $103.68 billion dollars and had 278,000 employees.[5]

Access Nestlé's corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Nestle has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). [6]

A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Company history


  • 1866 Foundation of Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co.
  • 1867 Henry Nestlé’s Infant cereal developed
  • 1905 Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co.(new name after merger)
  • 1929 Merger with Peter, Cailler, Kohler Chocolats Suisses S.A.
  • 1934 Launch of Milo
  • 1938 Launch of Nescafé
  • 1947 Nestlé Alimentana S.A., (new name after merger with Maggi)
  • 1948 Launch of Nestea and Nesquik
  • 1969 Vittel (initially equity interest only)
  • 1971 Merger with Ursina-Franck
  • 1973 Stouffer (with Lean Cuisine)
  • 1974 L’Oréal (associate)
  • 1977 Nestlé S.A. (new Company name)
  • 1981 Galderma (joint venture with L’Oréal)
  • 1985 Carnation (with Coffee-mate and Friskies)
  • 1986 Creation of Nestlé Nespresso S.A.
  • 1988 Buitoni-Perugina, Rowntree (with Kit Kat)
  • 1990 Cereal Partners Worldwide (joint venture with General Mills)
  • 1991 Beverage Partners Worldwide (joint venture with Coca-Cola)
  • 1992 Perrier (with Poland Spring)
  • 1993 Creation of Nestlé Sources Internationales (2002: Nestlé Waters)
  • 1997 Creation of Nutrition Strategic Business Division (2006: Nestlé Nutrition)
  • 1998 Sanpellegrino and Spillers Petfoods; Launch of Nestlé Pure Life
  • 2000 PowerBar
  • 2001 Ralston Purina
  • 2002 Schöller and Chef America; Dairy Partners Americas (joint venture with Fonterra); Laboratoires Innéov (joint venture with L’Oréal)
  • 2003 Mövenpick and Dreyer’s
  • 2005 Wagner, Protéika and Musashi
  • 2006 Creation of FoodServices Strategic Business Division; Lactalis Nestlé Produits Frais (associate); Jenny Craig, Uncle Tobys and Delta Ice Cream
  • 2007 Novartis Medical Nutrition, Gerber, Henniez [8]

Business scope

Nestlé's product lines can be subdivided into the following categories[9]:

  • Coffee - Nescafé, Nespresso,Taster’s Choice, Ricoré, Ricoffy, Bonka, Zoégas, Loumidis.
  • Water - Poland Spring, Nestlé Pure Life, Arrowhead, Vittel, Deer Park, Levissima, Perrier, S.Pellegrino, Ozarka, Contrex, Ice Mountain,Zephyrhills, Nestlé Aquarel, Hépar, Acqua Panna
  • Other beverages - Nestea, Nesquik, Nescau, Milo, Carnation, Libby’s, Caro, Nestomalt, Nestlé
  • Dairy - Shelf stable: Nestlé, Nido, Nespray, Ninho, Carnation, Milkmaid, La Lechera, Moça, Klim, Gloria, Svelty, Molico, Nestlé Omega Plus, Bear Brand, Coffee-Mate
  • Dairy - Chilled: Nestlé, Sveltesse, La Laitière, La Lechera, Ski, Yoco, Svelty, Molico, LC1, Chiquitin
  • Ice cream - Nestlé, Antica Gelateria del Corso, Dreyer's/Edy's, Drumstick/Extrême, Maxibon/Tandem, Mega, Mövenpick, Sin Parar/Sem Parar/Non Stop, Delta
  • Infant nutrition - Nestlé, Nan, Lactogen, Beba, Nestogen, Cerelac, Nestum, Neslac, Guigoz, Good Start
  • Performance nutrition - PowerBar, Pria, Musashi
  • HealthCare nutrition - Nutren, Clinutren, Peptamen, Modulen,
  • Bouillons, soups, seasonings, pasta, sauces - Maggi, Buitoni, Thomy, Winiary,Torchin, Osem, Totole, Haoji
  • Frozen foods (prepared dishes, pizzas, small meals) - Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Hot Pockets, Buitoni, Maggi, Wagner, La Cocinera
  • Refrigerated products (cold meat products, dough, pasta, pizzas, sauces, snacks) - Nestlé, Buitoni, Herta, Toll House, Sabra
  • Chocolate, confectionery and biscuits - Nestlé, Crunch, Cailler, Galak/Milkybar, Kit Kat, Smarties, Butterfinger, Aero, Polo
  • Nestlé Professional - Chef, Davigel, Minor’s
  • Petcare - Purina, Friskies, Fancy Feast, Alpo, Gourmet, Mon Petit, Felix, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Pro Plan, Purina ONE, Beneful, Tidy Cats

Major holdings

In addition to the brands listed above, Nestle is a major shareholder in other companies, such as L'Oreal, which bought The Body Shop for 652million L.[10]

Animal testing

Nestle does animal testing.

Facility information, progress & USDA-APHIS reports

For copies of this facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports & Information: Nestle Purina Global Resources, Inc., St Louis, MO. [11]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Labor issues

African cocoa plantations accused of child labour and trafficking implicate Nestlé: 2001

Nestlé was once again at the center of controversy for buying cocoa which may have been produced using child slaves from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, .[12]. A report by the BBC showed that hundreds of thousands of children in various african countries, including Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo were being purchased from their families and sent to Ivory Coast, to be sold as slaves to cocoa farms.

"These children, ranging in age from 12 to 14 years (and sometimes younger) were being forced to do hard manual labor 80 to 100 hours a week, paid nothing, barely fed and beaten regularly. In the widespread uproar caused by the reports, Nestlé expressed its 'concerns' over the use of child labour but could not confirm that none of its chocolate was derived from slave-labour sources"[13] [14]

Working against unions: 2002

Many allegations and accusations have been made as to Nestlé's involment in oppressive and hostile measures taken towards worker unions. In late 2001 management at a Nestlé subsidiary named Comestibles La Rosa threatened workers that in order to keep their jobs they were obliged to renounce union membership.

"Even now, Nestlé has refused to acknowledge publicly the work of the unions and to disassociate itself from any threat and use of force against their members. In October 2002 and March 2003, SINALTRAINAL tried, with the support of various Swiss trade unions and social movements, to make contact with the central management of Nestlé with a view to solving the problems in Colombia. Nestlé has twice refused such discussions."[15]

Human rights issues

The Ethiopia scandal

Oxfam, a group of "thirteen non-governmental organizations from three continents working worldwide to fight poverty and injustice", revealed that Nestlé was demanding millions of dollars in compensation from the Ethiopian government. The $6 million demand was issued for shares in the agricultural firm ELIDCO (Ethiopian Livestock Development Company), which was nationalised following the military coup d'etat of 1975. The money demanded by Nestlé "could provide clean water to more than 4 million people in Ethiopia and fund the construction of 6,500 wells".[16]

Human rights violations in Colombia: 2008

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), led by Nobel peace prize winner, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, accused 43 companies present in Colombia of various human rights violations. The Tribunal, consisting of various international notables, made such accusations after almost three years of investigating allegations of human rights violations in Colombia.

Among the companies accused of human rights violations are Coca Cola, Nestlé, British Petroleum (BP) and Telefonica. The PPT also said the Colombian Government is equally responsible for the violation of human rights, “favoring capital over people’s lives”. [17]

Luciano Enrique Romero was a trade unionist and a fired Nestlé factory worker whose body was found in a paramilitary-controlled area of Colombia in 2006. The body had been tied up and showed evidence of torture. He had been been stabbed 40 times. Romero's widow, Colombian labor union SINALTRAINAL and the Washington-based International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit in Miami charging Nestlé USA and Nestlé of Colombia with complicity in his death. According to the suit, "Nestlé operated in complicity with the paramilitary", so much so that there was even evidence that "Nestlé plant managers met openly with them inside the factory in Valledupar, in northern Colombia"[18], [19]

Product safety issues

Artificial baby milk controversy: 2006

As the world's largest artificial baby milk producer, Nestlé has been pinpointed as a leading cause of the increasing worldwide infant mortality rates. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die each year because of inappropriate feeding, given the fact that children vulnerable to disease are being fed with artificial breastmilk substitutes rather than naturally breastfed.[20]

"A World Health Organization (WHO) International Code governing the marketing of artificial baby milk, drawn up in 1981 and agreed by 118 countries, says breastfeeding should be promoted above all other products and that leaflets and labels relating to breast milk substitutes should do nothing to undermine this. But Nestlé and other companies have been accused of flouting the rules with advertising, free samples, promotions and sponsorships. The latest monitoring report from the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) uncovered about 2,000 violations of the code in 69 countries, with Nestlé responsible for more violations than any other of the big 16 baby food companies studied"[21] [22]

Fraudulent Labeling: 2002

In November 2002, police ordered Nestlé Colombia to withdraw from the market nearly 200 tons of imported powdered milk. The milk had come from Uruguay under the brand name Conaprole, but the packages had been relabeled as coming from a nearby Nestlé factory, as well as being stamped with false production dates that differed almost an entire year from the ACTUAL production dates. A month later another 120 tons with similarly false country of origin and production dates were discovered, indicating the presence of systematic fraud.[23]

Anti-trust & tax practices

Spy hired to infiltrate NGO: 2008

The Swiss chapter of anti-globalizaion NGO Attac asked local authorities to investigate Nestlé for allegedly hiring a spy to infiltrate the group. The legal complaint was filed after learning that an employee of the Securitas AG security company took part in its private meetings between late 2003 and June 2004. "The meetings were part of a research project that culminated in the publication of a book titled "Attac against the Nestle Empire," which criticized the company's position on genetically modified organisms, water privatization and trade unions."[24]

Corporate accountability

Over the past 50 years, Nestlé has been at the center of documented controversy concerning its methods of marketing processed milk or baby formula as a substitute for breastfeeding. The company's activities attracted worldwide attention during the Nestlé boycott of 1977, [25] which led the company to make various attempts to improve its public image, launching some Fairtrade products in the meantime[26] All the controversy surrounding the swiss conglomerate has contributed to making it one of the world's most boycotted brands[27]

In spite of numerous and controversial accusations, Nestlé's Business Code of Conduct asserts that:

"Since its founding, Nestlé’s business practices have been governed by integrity, honesty, fair dealing and full compliance with all applicable laws. Nestlé employees worldwide have upheld and lived this commitment in their every day responsibilities ever since, and Nestlé’s reputation remains one of the Company’s most important assets today."[28]

Social responsibility initiatives

Perhaps in order to turn attention aware from its negative product safety and human rights publicity, Nestle has begun to greenwash itself, releasing reports regarding its reduced carbon emissions and water withdrawal over the last decade.[29], [30]

Political contributions

Joe M. Weller, then Chair & CEO of Nestlé USA, was a Bush Pioneer having raised at least $100,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. [31]

Nestlé USA gave $15,900 to federal candidates in the 2008 election cycle through its political action committees - 56% to Democrats, 44% to Republicans.[32],


Nestle SA spent $2,815,660 for lobbying in 2010. $670,000 went to seven outside lobbying firms and the remainder was spent on in-house lobbyists. Firms used included Policy Directions Inc., the Nickles Group and the Podesta Group.[33]

Personnel & board

Key executives: Nestlé S.A. Swiss headquarters

Board & executive board members

See also Nestle Management. [35]


Swiss Headquarters
Avenue Nestlé 55
CH-1800 Vevey
Vaud, Switzerland
Phone: +41-21-924-2596
Fax: +41-21-922-6334

Web address:

USA Office:
800 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: 818-549-6000
Fax: 818-549-6952

Web address:

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles


  1. "Nestlé at a Glance: Key Facts", Nestlé, accessed December 2008.
  2. Ian Johnston Nestlé: the world's biggest food company and one of the 'most boycotted, Telegraph, September 2009
  3. Nestlé SA, Company analytics, 2009
  4. Nestlé S.A. Profile, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  5. Key Nestlé S.A. Financials, Hoovers, accessed January 2011
  6. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  7. Nestlé,"Nestlé Quick Facts: Historical Timeline" Nestlé Website, Accesed December 2008
  8. Elaborate overview of Nestle's history, Nestle, accessed February 2010
  9. Nestlé,"Nestlé's product lines and major brands", Nestlé website, Accesed December 2008
  10. Jonathan Brown. "UK: Roddick Targets Nestlé after Corporate 'Sell-Out'" May 11th, 2006. Accessed March 2009.
  11. Facility Reports & Information: Nestle R&D Center, Inc, St. Joseph, MO, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed January 2011
  12. "Nestlé implicated in child slave labour in Ivory Coast", JS Online, Media Release, Accessed December 2008
  13. "Nestlé Corporate Crimes: child slaves in Ivory Coast", Corporate Watch, accessed December 2008
  14. "AFRICA: The Dark Side of Chocolate", Corporate Watch, , Media Release, October 2005
  15. "Another Nestlé Scandal in Colombia: more than 200 tons of powdered milk decommissioned", Colombia Solidarity, Media Release, November 2002
  16. "Nestlé u-turn on Ethiopia debt", The Guardian, January 2003
  17. "July, 2008: The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) accused Nestlé of human rights violations in Colombia", Business and Human Rights Resource Center, accessed December 2008
  18. "Murder in Colombia Prompts Group to Sue Nestlé Units in Miami", International Labor Rights Forum, Media Release, accessed December 2008
  19. Jane Bussey Murder in Colombia Prompts Group to Sue Nestle Units in Miami, Miami Herald, October 28, 2008
  20. "Nestlé at the center of artificial breastmilk and increasing infant mortality rates" Baby Milk Action Organization, accessed December 2008
  21. Corporate Watch "Nesté Corporate Crimes: Artificial Baby Milk Controversy" Corporate Watch website, accessed December 2008
  22. "Nestlé at the center of violations of the International Code governing the marketing of artificial baby milk", Baby Milk Organization, accessed December 2008
  23. "Another Nestlé Scandal in Colombia: more than 200 tons of powdered milk decommissioned", Colombia Solidarity website, Media Release, November 2002, accessed December 2008
  24. "Swiss campaign group says food giant Nestle hired spy against it", International Herald Tribune, Media Release, June 2008, accessed December 2008
  25. "The 1977 Nestlé Boycott",, accessed December2008
  26. "NESCAFÉ Partners' Blend: Nestlé's new Fairtrade coffee", Nestlé UK, accessed December 2008
  27. "The world's most well-known and boycotted brands on the planet", Business Insight Blog, accessed December 2008
  28. "Nestlé Business Code of Conduct", Nestlé, accessed December 2008
  29. Nestle Releases CSR Report", Environmental Leader, March 4, 2008.
  30. Nestle Profile, CSR Wire, accessed February 2010
  31. Bush Pioneer Joe M. Weller, Texans for Public Justice, accessed August 2007
  32. Nestle USA 2008 PAC, Open Secrets, accessed January 2011
  33. 2010 Nestlé lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed January 2010
  34. Nestlé S.A. Key People, Hoovers, accessed January 2011
  35. Management, Nestle, accessed July 2015

External resources

  • Nestle SA, Corporate Watch, 2003
  • Nestle, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, accessed February 2010

External articles