Tag Archive for 'Nestle'

In the ‘Wild West’ of Water, Nestlé Gets Free Pass to Bottle the Commons

Photo retrieved from: www.commondreams.org

“International food giant Nestlé is striking gold in British Columbia—dubbed the ‘Wild West’ of water regulation—extracting hundreds of millions of liters of fresh groundwater each year without paying a cent.

As the only province in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use, B.C. residents are calling on the provincial government to update the century-old Water Act saying that, without doing so, B.C. is ripe for such abuse. “The province does not license groundwater, charge a rental for groundwater withdrawals or track how much bottled water companies are taking from wells,” said a Ministry of Environment spokesperson.

“It’s really the Wild West out here in terms of groundwater,” added Linda Nowlan, conservation director from World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Any measurements or documentation of groundwater extraction are undergone on a “voluntary” basis by the corporation. According to Canadian paper The Province, Nestlé is extracting 265 million liters (or roughly 70 million gallons) of water each year from one well alone.

“It’s unsettling,” said WaterWealth Project campaign director Sheila Muxlow. “What’s going to happen in the long term if Nestlé keeps taking and taking and taking?”

“We have water that’s so clean and so pure, it’s amazing. And then they take it and sell it back to us in plastic bottles,” adds Sharlene Harrison-Hinds, a resident of Hope, B.C. which relies on the same aquifer being tapped by Nestlé.”

Read more: Common Dreams


Bottled water companies target minorities

“New York, New York - Water is the lifeblood of this planet, whose inhabitants are watching its accelerated spiral into crisis mode even as they struggle to address the issues and lifestyles that are stretching the earth’s resources thin.

Outwardly, the global water crisis appears straightforward – people simply consume too much water. A key factor in this spiral is the fact that water has been morphing from a natural resource into a marketable – and costly – product, experts and reports have shown.

Exploring different aspects of the global water crisis, from privatisation of water to corporations marketing to minorities, reveals that water – as a human right, as a product, as a natural resource – is firmly entangled with a host of issues in areas, including public health.

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in areas with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population – projected to reach eight billion by then – will be under stress conditions. Some 1.4 billion currently lack access to safe water.

Humans consume water at a rate more than twice that of population growth, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In 60 per cent of European cities with a population greater than 100,000, groundwater is used more quickly than it is replenished, said the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Yet even though humans consume more water than is sustainable, some would say that people do not drink enough water, and when they do, they’re often being tricked into doing so.”

Read More: Al Jazeera


Why the Strategies Behind Nestlé’s New Bottled Water Brand May Be Good for the Company but Bad for Public Water

Photo retrieved from: www.fuelandwash.com

“As many consumers in the United States and Europe are dropping bottled water, the industry is beginning to see a decline in sales. In fact, between 2007 and 2010, Nestlé Waters, the biggest water bottler in the world, saw its total sales drop 12.6 percent.

Today, Nestlé appears to have developed new strategies to combat this challenging sales climate, which center around its Pure Life brand. Unfortunately, while the brand has been profitable, these tactics do not bode well for public water in the United States or abroad.

Nestlé has shifted the focus of its advertising dollars in the United States to its new Pure Life brand. Between 2004 and 2009, spending on Pure Life advertising increased by more than 3000 percent; the company’s nearly $9.7 million expenditure on the brand in 2009 was more than any other bottled water company spent on a leading domestic brand, and more than Nestlé’s next five spring water brands combined.

While Nestlé’s global water division’s sales are falling in Europe, the United States and Canada, they are growing rapidly in the “emerging markets” that Nestlé is targeting in the rest of the word. In 2010, Nestlé’s sales of bottled water in these “other regions” increased by 25 percent over its 2009 sales in these areas.

Pure Life differs from Nestlé’s previous brands in the United States in terms of the source of its water, the messaging used to sell it, and its target audience:

  • Pure Life bottles municipal tap water rather than spring water, which can help the company avoid the costly conflicts over water access and labeling that have plagued its spring water operations in the past, allowing it instead to vie with its main competitors, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, on price.
  • The company focuses its messaging on the health benefits of bottled water, especially compared to sugary soft drinks, which improves the image of its product and helps it appeal to parents and teachers who are concerned about their children’s health.
  • It also specifically targets Hispanic immigrants in the United States and “emerging markets” in developing nations abroad — consumers who are accustomed to inadequate water infrastructure and therefore less inclined to drink from the tap because of safety concerns.”

Read more: Food & Water Watch



House Urged to Cut Back After Bottled-Water Tab Nears $1 Million

“If the Potomac River, which supplies water to the nation’s capital, had run dry, Congress might be able to explain itself. But it hasn’t. ”

“And that has left one group calling out the U.S. House for spending $860,000 last year on bottled water — money it says could have gone toward installing fountains of perfectly potable water. 

“A report from the nonprofit Corporate Accountability International found that between April 2009 and March 2010, House lawmakers spent an average of $2,000 per member on bottled water. 

“Corporate Accountability International is now joining with other advocacy groups to call on the House to set an example, by cutting bottled water out of its budget.”

Read More: Fox News

Bottled Water Pits Nestlé vs. Greens

“CASCADE LOCKS, Oregon—In this idyllic town on the north slope of Mount Hood, an autopsy on three dead rainbow trout may play a role in Nestlé SA’s efforts to reverse a deep slide in its bottled-water business.

“Bottled water, which for years delivered double-digit growth for Nestlé, is under fire from environmentalists. They decry the energy used to transport it and the use of billions of plastic bottles, and oppose efforts to use new springs, citing concerns about water scarcity.

“In Cascade Locks, Nestlé is trying to tap 100 million gallons of water annually for its Arrowhead water brand from a new spring—and keep the environmentalists happy, too. A key is proving that water drawn from the spring—which supplies a hatchery that raises Idaho Sockeye, an endangered species—can be replaced with municipal well water, with no harm to the fish.

“We are accused of mining water, which would suggest we are depleting a resource,” says Kim Jeffrey, chief executive of Nestlé’s North American water business. “But instead, we take water in a sustainable way. The notion that we just take what we want is simply not factual.”

“Nestlé would pipe water from the spring to a proposed new $50 million bottling plant that would employ 53 workers. In turn, it would pump Cascade Locks’ municipal well water to the hatchery to replace all the water taken from the spring—buying 300 gallons a minute from the town for the switch, or about a sixth the total municipal capacity.

“The Cascade Locks efforts are part of a push by the company to cast its water in a friendlier light. Nestlé is launching a lighter bottle with nine grams of plastic, a quarter of that found in some sports-drinks packaging.

“Environmentalists say it is impossible for a company that churns out 20 billion plastic bottles a year to become environmentally friendly and dismiss the efforts as “bluewashing.”

“In Cascade Locks, some resent seeing a rare business opportunity possibly lost. “This is becoming the Battle of the Middle Gorge,” says Mayor Brad Lorang. “Stopping Nestlé won’t save the planet, but getting Nestlé to come here could save the town.”

read more: Wall Street Journal