Update. September 2012

Nestle update .. People's Food Plan .. FoodSwitch .. Can we afford $1 milk? .. Apple campaign .. Story of Change

Nestle - how long is too long?

Milo, Friskies, Purina, Maggi, Kit Kat, Allens, Uncle Tobys, Nescafe ....

You may remember Nestle, the world's largest food company. Hard to miss them in the aisles. They've been the subject of an international boycott campaign for over 30 years now, criticised for continuing to aggressively market infant formula in developing nations. Mothers become dependent on the product, mix it with unsanitary water, and kids die.

Nestlé would like to consider this as 'old news', and claims that only 3% of the allegations in IBFAN’s Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010 report require action, the rest it considers to be in compliance with its own policy. However Baby Milk Action, the main campaign body, compares Nestlé Policy with the International Code, showing 12 key differences.

Find out about International Nestlé-Free Week: 29 October - 4 November 2012. Also, check out Nestle - the musical (some good old 'people action' at Nestlé UK HQ on 21 May 2011). Nice one!

People's Food Plan

The community consultation process continues over the National Food Plan. The plan has been criticised as having a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, driven by economic interests. In response to this a People's Food Plan is being developed. Hear audio from ABC's Bush Telegraph - The National Food Plan versus the People's Food Plan - from the 23rd August.

For people in Melbourne, there's a meeting on Friday 7th September, 9.30-11.30 am, in Meeting Room 1, 60L Green Building, 60 Leicester St, Carlton. Further info: call (03) 9347 4500

Remember, you have until the end of September to make a submission regarding the the National Food Plan.
If you would like to assist with our submission, please let us know.

FoodSwitch app

Find out what's in the food you're eating and make simple switches to the healthier choices. The FoodSwitch smartphone app allows you to scan the barcodes of packaged foods and get nutritional information relating to the salt, fat and sugar content for more than 28,500 products. The traffic light-style colour-coded ratings make it easy to identify less healthy and more healthy choices.

From BUPA and The George Institute for Global Health. This app is free to download. Find out more.

Don't buy Coles homebrand milk!

Some personal stories by farmers screened on Landline recently illustrate why $1 a litre milk is unethical and unfair, and is doing irrevocable harm to Australia’s dairy industry. $1 per litre is not the real price. It is less than the milk can be produced for. Dairy farmers are losing money on every litre produced.

  • Down Down’ - 19th August - (on ABC iview - starts 24mins in)
  • 'Milk Wars' - 6th August
  • 'Milk Money' - 1st July - on WA’s milk industry
>> Better options - branded products - such as Pura, Dairy Farmers (National Foods/Lion owned by Kirin of Japan; 81% of the market); Rev, Pauls, PhysiCal, Skinny (Parmalat of Italy, owned by Lactalis of France); Anlene, Anchor (Fonterra of New Zealand)
>> Better still - Australian owned milks - such as Devondale (Murray Goulburn Co-operative); A2 (Freedom Foods Group); Sungold, Great Ocean Road (Warnambool Cheese & Butter Factory); Brownes (Brownes)
>> Best - small independent farm gate products - such as B.-d. Farm Paris Creek, True Organic, Elgaar Farm, Barambah Organics, Hastings Valley Dairy

Learn more about the supermarket duopoly. How much do they really own?

Ethical iPhone - tell Apple to raise the bar

Computer giant Apple committed in March 2012 to addressing working conditions in the Chinese factories that build iPhones, iPods and iPads. The Ethical iPhone campaign by SumOfUs.org encourages Apple to stand by it's word and use the power that it has as one of the world's largest companies (with a centralised supply chain) to push the Chinese manufacturing industry to change its practices. Find out more about this campaign and sign the petition.

Also see Apple's disclosure in its latest Supplier Responsibility report from January 2012, and this article commenting on it.

For information beyond labour conditions, see 'Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics' report card on Apple (from Nov 2011). They're ranked in 4th position with a score of 4.6 out of 10.

Think right, get inspired, take action...

Three great video grabs:

Why citizens (not shoppers) hold the key to a better world. We can put down our credit cards and start exercising our citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. Story of Change

A rallying call to change the course of history. Towards a thriving, just, and sustainable future by the end of 2014. There is still time to act but no time to waste.
Four Years Go

What we aim for can be as important for our well being as what we achieve. An amazing animation for those who want to go a little deeper. It's worth thinking about....
21st Century Enlightenment

Help us rework our 'look'

We, at the Ethical Consumer Group, are in the process of planning a new look for our website. We're seeking people to help us by giving feedback on our present website's functionality and design. We are conducting some sessions in Sydney and in Melbourne, so if you are a student with no kids, a young parent with a child under two or someone in your forties or fifties and would like to help out, please email Rosanne at rosanne@ethical.org.au. We'll only need an hour of your time one weekday evening in the coming week. You'll get a free ECG giftpack for your troubles.


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