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Infant Food Marketing

International Policy

Infant Marketing

Nestlé believes in the superiority of breastfeeding and recognizes that the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Code of Marketing of breast milk substitutes is an important instrument for the protection of it, particularly in countries where poor sanitary, economic and social conditions prevail. Read more on the WHO Code of Marketing PDF 136 Kb.

Nestlé sells and markets infant formula products responsibly, and we voluntarily and unilaterally apply the WHO Code in all developing countries. To ensure compliance with the WHO Code, Nestlé has developed a unique global management system, which includes the following aspects. For more information about infant formula download the following documents:

Nestlé in Canada Policy

In Canada, where the WHO Code is not legislated, Nestlé supports the position of Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society and Dietitians of Canada. This position is outlined in the document, Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants, which states that breastfeeding for as long as possible is best, and that formula is appropriate if mothers choose to supplement or discontinue breastfeeding. In addition, Nestlé complies with the Food and Drug Act and Competition Act, which regulate the infant formula here in Canada.

Nestlé WHO Code Quality Assurance System

This has been implemented in all developing countries where Nestlé operates and is built along the lines of ISO quality assurance systems. The manual, outlining Nestlé policies and procedures, gives detailed operational guidelines to all Nestlé employees in their daily conduct of business related to infant formula to ensure compliance at all levels with both the WHO Code of Marketing of breast milk substitutes and local regulations.

Training, testing and compensation on WHO Code knowledge

Nestlé trains relevant Nestlé Nutrition personnel on the WHO Code. They are tested regularly on their knowledge, and their performance is a criterion upon which salary increases and promotions are based.

In 2009, 100% of staff involved in infant formula marketing in developing countries received specific WHO Code training [KPI]; we aim at 100% coverage in any given year, but this may not always be possible due to employee turnover. During the course of 2010, a new web-based training and testing tool was implemented to assess the Code knowledge of all Nestlé Nutrition's medical delegates on a continual basis.


Nestlé has established a significant program of WHO compliance and monitoring. Corporate auditors check approximately 20 countries every year to verify Code compliances. Any verified Code violation is submitted to the CEO of Nestlé for review and action, and is reported to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The Nestlé system is recognized as best-in-class by social investment groups.

Read more about our implementation of the Code at the Babymilk website.