I recently read the following post on one of my favourite blogs, Thinly Spread. I really admire Christine and her commitment to ethical blogging. I too am passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle and supporting companies with good ethical practises.
I’ve boycotted Nestle since my teens. I’ve chosen to do this because of their continuing aggressive marketing of formula milk in countries where the water isn’t clean enough to mix it safely and families cannot afford to pay for it. The fact that these families and their babies are suffering and yet they continue with this practise is inhumane, and I cannot even fully express in words how disgusted that makes me.
As a blogger I receive emails from companies wanting to work with me. Without a detailed guide to every business at hand it can be hard to know who to avoid. It’s also hard to say no when there is money involved and a desire to make an income from my blog. Regardless I’ve turned down work from Coke, Nestle, and Asda/Walmart.
I’ve recently discovered Ethical Consumer who have an ethical shopping guide which rates companies and makes it easier to do my research when I’m considering whether to work with a company. As I gain experience as a blogger I’m learning how to do my research. I’m gaining confidence, learning to say no, and where to draw the line.
So when I heard about blogging community CBias/Social Fabric’s association with Nestle it concerned me. As I’ve already done work for them I knew I needed to think long and hard about whether to withdraw. After discussions with my family, and friends I’ve decided to continue to work with them. Jo (Slummy Single Mummy) who is their UK community manager has talked to them about the strength of feeling in the UK blogging community regarding Nestle. In response they have agreed not to work with them in the UK. This feels like a victory to me. Given their association with Nestle I think chances were high they would have used CBias for campaigns in the UK, now they won’t, less advertising for Nestle absolutely feels like victory.
Obviously they are still working with them in the states, and for some that is too much, fair enough. For me though I consider my life. Today I visited my local shop to buy milk, that shop was selling Nestle, so the shop has an arrangement with Nestle. Am I going to buy Nestle products from them? No way. Am I going to buy milk? Yes, regularly. So I’ll approach CBias the same way, only applying for campaigns with companies I am happy to work with. I think I’ve found my line in the sand.
I feel similarly to you. I am also a Nestle boycotter for the reasons that you are, amongst others and was deeply concerned about Collective Bias’ connection with Nestle as the sponsor of their conference over in the States. However, I’m comfortable with choosing to work on campaigns that are not connected to Nestle while continuing to work with CBias. It can be hard to figure out where to stand on these things while being realistic about needing the money, can’t it?
It really can, it’s heartening to hear that you have come to the same conclusion though.
With you on this one. Very well expressed.
I’m a newbie to blogging so am interested in learning anything! For some reason I had no idea about this Nestle / baby milk thing. Being a mother of 4 and unable to breast feed, I rely on formula and, obviously, clean water to mix it with. To think that there are mothers out there unable to have the same resources as us is heartbreaking. Is there a link that describes what Nestle have done / in the process of doing so I can have a proper read?
This is a link to some information about the Boycott and why http://babymilkaction.org/nestlefree
Ooh I wasn’t aware of their connection. Imfunnily enough in Jos topic about brands you wouldn’t work with I said nestle. Like Adele I will choose not to do Nestlé shops but I need the money so can’t afford to boycott all their shops when I have a university course to pay for!
Indeed, sometimes it’s a real balancing act isn’t it.
Loving the victory jump, well done you and Jo too 🙂
Thanks for this Ella. It’s given me a lot to think about. Your stance is similar to my own.
Glad to have helped. Glad so many others are on the same page.
Hi, I run my own blog to and I have never thought about how ethical the companies are who approach me so thanks for opening my eyes to this.
I will be doing research into any company who approaches me now as I am all for saving money but not at the expense of other people’s welfare.
Hi Gemma, that’s so great that you’re going to take this on board, thanks for popping by.