All around the world, big business and multinational companies are oppressing and exploiting people and animals, and are wreaking environmental destruction - all in the name of profit. They are lining the pockets of the few, by the toil and oppression ofthe rest, and by the exploitation of the world's finite resources.
Business Gurus' Conference
On 8th & 9th November, top executives from some of the world's largest multinationals are gathering at the Park Lane Hotel in London for Management Summit '95. The summit aims to help companies "dominate existing markets and win in and create tomorrow's arkets". Among those speaking will be Paul Preston (President, McDonald's UK), Mike Garrett (Vice President, Nestle), Maurice Saatchi (Managing Director, The New Saatchi Company), and Ron Freeman (Vice President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Deveopment). Delegates will have paid 2-3,000 to attend the Summit. This conference is all about how companies can make more profits for themselves by ripping off the rest of the world. We are demonstrating here today to show our opposition to the exploittion of people, animals and the environment carried out by big business in the pursuit of profit.
Nestle - undermining infant health
1.5 million babies die every year in poor countries because they are not breast fed says UNICEF. Millions more become seriously ill. The water mixed with baby milk powder in poor conditions is often unsafe. This leads to diarrhoea and often death. Babymilk is very expensive - it can cost more than half a family's income. Poor people often have to overdilute the powder to make it last longer and their babies are then likely to become malnourished. Breast feeding is free, safe and protects against infetion. Even undernourished mothers can breast feed successfully. Baby food companies have known for years that babies die from unsafe bottle feeding, yet they still aggressively promote their milk because they also know that if they don't get babies on th bottle, they don't do business.
Mike Garrett of the food giant Nestle will be speaking on "Developing a Strategy for Exploiting the Commercial Potential in China and Overcoming the Practical Difficulties of Operating in this Under-Tapped Market" . Nestle is the subject of a boycott in 17 countries because of its irresponsible marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Nestle promotes milk and milk products, for example by giving milk to hospitals in the Third World for free or at a low price. The company has an annual turnover of $42 billion
The campaign group, Baby Milk Action, is exposing the reality of Nestle's business in China. The company's efforts to establish its baby food market in that country have already threatened the health of the 25 million babies born there each year. A recent report showed how promotion strategies have resulted in the widespread use of artificial milk and a decrease in breastfeeding in the Kunming region. (For more information, you can contact BMA at 23 St Andrew's Street, Cambridge CB2 3AX, Tel 01223 46442, Fax 01223 454417.)
What's Wrong With McDonald's?
In the mid-1980's, London Greenpeace began a campaign to highlight McDonald's: responsibility for damage to the environment - through cattle ranching and the effects of the mountains of packaging they use; exploitation of workers for low pay; hostility totrade unions; promotion of an unhealthy diet, particularly to children, through their advertising and gimmicks; and responsibility for the deaths (and miserable lives) of millions of animals. In 1990, the company sued two supporters of London Greenpeace. A mammoth libel trial began in June 1994, and is still going on in the High Court. McDonald's brought this case in an attempt to bully and intimidate their critics into silence. But the two defendants decided to fight the case, determined to counter Mconald's attempt at censorship. By doing so they have turned the tables on McDonald's - the spotlight is now on the company, whose operations are being examined in minute detail in the court.
Paul Preston (President of McDonald's UK) will be speaking at the Management Summit on "Successfully Managing the Globalisation of Your Organisation and Determining the Optimum Structure of the Borderless Corporation - Thinking Globally, Acting Locally". McDonald's, already making over $1 billion profit a year, aims to increase its profits still further by expanding into more countries around the world - often changing people's diets for the worse. They claim that this expansion creates jobs and choices,but the reality is a uniform menu and low pay the world over. Meanwhile traditional food suppliers and market/street traders have their livelihoods destroyed, and skilled labour becomes obsolete. In their 1992 Annual Report, Jim Cantalupo, President of McDonald's International says "In the international arena, we don't usually like to talk about market share because we're not going to share anything. We're after the entire market and it's really true in many of the markets. We're making...we're creating the market for our kind of restaurant experience."
Instead of everyone sharing the world's resources for the benefit of all, multinationals like McDonald's just want to use these resources to make profits for themselves. We have to fight back. We need to create a new system, by taking direct control of ur lives, work places, streets, and land, and deciding together what we produce and how. A society based on cooperation and sharing between people, and between people and the rest of nature.
Organise Now For A Better World
PEOPLE, ANIMALS, AND NATURE - NOT MONEY
Join the struggle for human and animal liberation, health, ecology, and real life.
Leaflet produced by: Greenpeace (London), 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX.
Tel 0171 837 7557.