This post is a little bit off topic for my blog, but it’s something that I feel is important to address. A few months ago, I was approached by Nestle to attend a small blogging event to learn more about their company and products. I signed on to attend and to participate in part of the presentation by sharing a couple of Holiday crafts. I was excited to attend the event, meet with other bloggers, and happy to learn more about the company. Then… a few days before the event I learned about the Nestle Boycott on Twitter. In short, Nestle has been under scrutiny since the mid-70s for using aggressive and ethically questionable marketing tactics in promoting its baby formula products to women in developing countries. I’m embarrassed to say that I had never heard of the boycott and obviously hadn’t done enough research before I committed to participate in the event.
After reading through many articles and blog posts covering the topic of the boycott, I had to make the decision of what to do next. I talked it over heavily with my family, friends, and other bloggers, and made the choice to continue with the commitment I’d made, hoping to engage directly with Nestle and learn more about their involvement in the issue.
I do have to say that Nestle put a lot of effort into the event, and I had an enjoyable time meeting and getting to know the other bloggers and also some of the great folks over at Nestle USA. Although I did get answers to many of my questions, I still feel like there’s more that needs to be addressed. I realized this is a global issue and goes beyond the Nestle representatives we interacted with. Read here and here for some additional attendee perspectives.
It’s been interesting to see the results of my decision. I’ve been forced into this world of confrontation, where I usually steer clear of (I’m not one to engage in a debate, I think of myself more as a mediator). I do know that I’m a changed person, mother, and blogger because of getting more involved in the boycott issue. I’ve come to learn from and respect many of the activists involved with the boycott. I may not agree with everything they say or do, but I know that many are trying their best to educate anyone and everyone on some very important issues.
Now what? I don’t know. I do know that I will continue to email, read, and educate myself about this issue to appease myself and my family. I’m happy to see these questions posed and I’m hopeful for some answers. Thanks to Annie for her research, as I wouldn’t even have known what questions to ask.