Business Ethics: A Case of Nestlé S.A.

Nestlé S.A., headquartered in Switzerland, Vevey, Vaud, is the globe’s most giant multinational drink and food processing corporation since 2014. Its products include baby food, breakfast cereals, dairy products, tea, and coffee, as well as medical foods. Nestlé S.A. has more than 447 factories operating in 189 nations (Nestle, 2020). However, the corporation has seen several controversies facing boycotts and criticism over its promotion and selling of infant formula as a substitute for breastfeeding, particularly in developing nations. Critics believed that the company’s strategy for marketing is baby formula was harmful and misleading as it contravened both International Marketing Symbols of Breast Milk Alternatives as well as the World Health Organization’s Code regarding breast milk substitutes’ marketing. It is critical to note that Nestlé S.A.’s marketing campaign influenced mothers all over the globe to adopt bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding by using free samples to accomplish this mission.

The company also implied that mothers with twins and the malnourished ones could not breastfeed their kids despite several international health agencies claiming that no adequate evidence was available to support this assertion, which could put the lives of babies of mothers in jeopardy. Nestlé S.A. has also been criticized for its dependence on child laborers in the production of cocoa and its promotion and production of bottled water(Nestle, 2020). Other ethical dilemmas linked with the company’s product promotion and distribution include using suppliers who contravene human rights, farmers’ exploitation, promoting unhealthy foods, union-busting as well as the unlawful extraction of groundwater.

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Perceptions regarding artificial infant milk differ within different cultures, both in the U.S. and across the globe. In the U.S., several consumers perceive that formula feeding presents kids with a wide range of risks. First, the digestion of formula is harder for a new infant since it stays in the baby’s stomach for a longer time than compared to breast milk. This may cause the infant to feed not often and can result in a decrease in milk production. Other consumers believe that supplementing with infant formula, particularly from a container, may alter an infant’s sucking pattern at the breasts. Holding the infant to the breasts may be challenging after the infant is fed using a stiffer bottle nipple. Globally, several cultures perceive infant formula as having health implications on babies. Other studies across the U.S. and globally propound that a single formula can alter an infant’s normal bacteria in the intestines, which could heighten the risk of infections in the digestive tract. A baby who receives formula feeding is at a higher risk for illnesses such as ear infections, asthma, diabetes, and obesity. The World Health Organization notes that due to the risks linked with the utilization of breast-milk alternatives, infant formula is not an ordinary consumer product. However, up to four years, it must be considered a nutritional medicine to be utilized under health workers’ supervision. In this respect, it is perceived that infant formula does not attain the goals of ensuring high standard quality and low cost.

Nestlé S.A has managed the ethical implications of its artificial infant milk by investing over $500 million to develop wellness and health products. Moreover, to assist in treating and prevent major illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are putting a growing burden on countries at a period when financial plans are being reduced. The company has also established an entirely owned subsidiary, including Nestlé Health Science and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, a research entity (Baker, 2019). Regarding the unethical concern of the exploitation of farmers, Nestlé S.A began working with the Fair Labor Organization in 2011 to improve the working conditions of its employees in developing nations by evaluating compliance risks and labor conditions throughout its supply chain of cocoa and hazelnuts. In response to the unethical issue of unlawful groundwater extraction, Nestlé S.A partnered with other agencies to enhance rural communities’ access to sanitation and safe water.

Nestlé S. A’ leadership can inculcate an ethics culture within its marketing segment by enhancing the wellbeing of intended consumers linked with the promotion and consumption of artificial infant formula. It is also the role of the leadership to reduce the negative side impacts related to the marketing and use of the products. According to Drumwright (2018), leadership at the marketing department of an organization is responsible for establishing its culture by providing oversight and acting as an example concerning ethical circumstances and decision making. Other strategies to instill an ethical culture involves reducing the negative side impacts related to the promotion and consumption of the infant formula products to other members of the public while maintaining long-term profitability.





Week four was also very insightful as I learned confession as a discipline that made me comprehend that I have sinned against Yahweh, and I need his forgiveness. The spiritual discipline for this week entailed learning how to confess I got to understand what is confession,  repentance, reconciliation, and resolve.  I chose a new behavior that honors God and requested my best friend to be my accountability partner. From this discipline, I understood that it is essential to continually self-examine myself to give me a clear vision of who I am before God, thus allowing me to confess any sin in my life. The entire week, I prayed the prayer of Examen, where I recalled the presence of God, asked the Holy Spirit to help me. Besides, I looked over my day with thanksgiving, tested myself to see if I am living in faith, and I had an honest, open, and transparent conversation with God.   Moreover, each day while praying this prayer, I focused on the fruits of the Holy Spirit as a theme to help me draw near to God.







Baker, C. (2019). What is ethical marketing? BDJ in Practice32(11), 20-21.

Drumwright, M. (2018). Ethical issues in marketing, advertising, and sales. The Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, 506.

Nestle. (2020). Good Food Good Life: Nestlé worldwide. Retrieved from






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