Nestlé rejects resolution to scale back on ‘unhealthy’ products

According to the Financial Times, in the lead-up to the AGM, some investors asked Nestlé to set an internationally recognised target to reduce the proportion of sales it makes from unhealthy goods, citing regulatory and reputational risks and growing public health concerns.  87.88% of the votes rejected the resolution, 11.07% were in favour, and 1.05% abstained. 

Paul Bulcke, president of Nestlé, defended the group’s strategy in a video message to shareholders. “A small group of shareholders led by the NGO ShareAction wants us to disengage from indulgent products. This is wrong. It will restrict Nestlé’s strategic freedom and limit management’s ability to make decisions or responsible decisions. The shareholders’ proposal is not in our best interest, not for our consumers, and not for you.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned about their health and aware of the benefits of a balanced diet,” and “we have the necessary expertise to support them in this process,” he said.

Ethos was one of the organizations that supported a resolution tabled by the British NGO ShareAction to force the Swiss group to produce more efforts to reduce the share of food that is considered ‘too fatty, too sweet, or too salty’.

Last year, Nestlé pledged to increase “more nutritious” product sales by 50% by 2030.

Thomas Abrams, a spokesperson for ShareAction, who represented the NGO at the general assembly, said they were satisfied with the outcome: “We managed to send a very strong signal to show that investors are worried.”