Nestlé have got a nerve doing this

I had to laugh when I read this…

It was an article in The Times, with the headline:

‘Buy half your food locally, public bodies told’.

It was about how schools, hospitals and councils should get at least half of their food from local and sustainable sources.

And it included a call for the government to implement a strategy to shift people away from poor environmental farming practices and towards healthier, seasonal food.

Nothing wrong with that – I’m all for it!

But who was calling for this big change?

Well, farming groups, of course, which makes sense.

However, it was also Nestlé.

That was the bit that made me laugh.

Here was the notorious Swiss multinational food corporation calling for “fairer, greener, healthier food”.

It’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

Nestlé has faced numerous accusations regarding the health problems with its products over the past few decades.

  • It was accused of aggressively marketing infant formula in developing countries, leading mothers to abandon breastfeeding.
  • It faced criticism for the high sugar content in its breakfast cereals, snacks, and beverages – many of the which have been marketed to children – which have sugar levels higher than recommended by health authorities.
  • Its processed food products have been found to contain high levels of sodium and saturated fats, linked to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Its bottled water brands have been criticized for their environmental impact and health risks associated with plastic use.
  • It has been accused of making misleading health claims on its packaging, suggesting that certain products are healthier than they are.
  • And there have been accusations that Nestlé is not transparent enough about the ingredients in its products, including the sourcing of raw materials and the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Now, after all that, Nestlé is presenting itself the bastion of fair, healthy, green food.

There are two ways to look at this…

The good news aspect is that it signals a shift, finally in the food corporations, who are effectively saying that government intervention in the private market is okay with them.

The problematic aspect is that we have multinational food corporations setting the agenda and using these opportunities as PR to distract us from their unhealthy products.

Or am I being too cynical here?

What do you think?