Monday, October 11, 2010

The Boycott List Begins ...

I've decided to post about this issue instead of what I normally do, gripe to people AFTER they've bought a product or service from a company I consider to be immoral, corrupt or careless.

So I'm starting the Boycott List. Ethical Consumerism is something I've preactised for the last five years, and I want to spread the message. We'll start with ...

Hewlett Packard
... who are cutting 1300 jobs in the UK to switch those jobs overseas. This is in addition to the 900 jobs which were announced earlier in the year.

You will think, no doubt, that HP as a company have a right to employ who they want, where they want, especially to keep costs down. Which is fine.

But if they don't want British employees, perhaps British consumers should consider whether we want HP products - we have a right to choose, too!

Nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, I've been boycotting BP for years due to their practices in Alaska on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Poor security, shoddy maintenance procedures and poor quality materials have led to a list of incidents that shame BP.

It seems that paying fines and repair bills is cheaper than proper maintenance - obvious when oil spills are blamed on cost-cutting by august newspaperas as the UK's Independent.

And finally for today...

The largest consumer packaged goods company in the world,  headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. Nestle have claim green credentials

since 2000 when Nestlé and other chocolate companies formed the World Cocoa Foundation, specifically to deal with issues facing cocoa farmer, and also from being a founding participant in the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), set up in 2002 to end child and forced labour in cocoa growing, and to eliminate child trafficking and abusive labour practices. Fair enough.

Sadly they've blown their good rep by their practice (and that of their contractors Sinar Mas) of rapid deforestation in Borneo and other regions to make way for oil palm plantations, denying living space to orang-utans. While many companies such as Unilever and Kraft are making efforts to disassociate themselves from the worst practices of the palm oil industry, Nestlé has done diddly squat.

Greenpeace initially announced this boycott. Clearly Nestle are embarassed about being found out, as they hide 'palm oil' as 'vegetable oil' on their ingredients list - but it's in their, in 1000's of dairy and chocolate products, including Kit-Kat and Aero.

Nestle still continue to do business with Sinar Mas, unlike Unilever and Kraft who have stopped all contracts. With other companies not willing to be tarnished by the devastation Sinar Mas is creating, this leaves Nestlé - like the orang-utans - out on a limb.