Nestle Canada will listen: www.savethesmarties.com

Posted on: Mon, 05/07/2001 - 5:46am
nolfi's picture
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pFor the past two weeks, I have been constructing an Internet campaign - [url="http://www.savethesmarties.com"]www.savethesmarties.com[/url] - focused on influencing Nestle Canada. The campaign has been overwhelmingly successful and has captured the attention of Nestle Canada. Many people from across Canada have given their support to this campaign and others like it./p
pFor those that are convinced that the Anaphylaxis or Allergy Socieities will represent their views, I urge you to think twice. None of these organizations made strong public statements before the press release on the 19th of April. None of these organizations urged the public to protest or boycott Nestle products. None of these organizations rallied for consumer advocacy. It is only the public that will change Nestle's mind and not sedate political organizations./p

Posted on: Mon, 05/07/2001 - 10:23am
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Not wanting to slam the allergy organizations, Nolfi, but as I understand it they feel the same way we do about it - that the most meaningful input to Nestle will come from people communicating with them directly and not through some centrally orchestrated campaign.
When I read the correspondence posted on [url="http://www.anaphylaxis.org"]www.anaphylaxis.org[/url] I was satisfied that the Anaphylaxis Network was representing my interests - but Nestle was not moved!
So we're agreed, it really is up to us. Great job on the website; I just went there and voted.

Posted on: Mon, 05/07/2001 - 10:44am
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Thanks for your input and I appreciate your visit to my site.
I am very experienced with many different health care organizations and understand their modus operandi. You see, as not-for-profits on limited budgets, many of these organizations receive donations/funds/support from many sources. For example, a specific health care profession's association will receive funds from all the drug companies that sell specific drugs in that profession. Yes, that is a conflict of interest, but associations usually turn a blind eye to it because they need the money.
If you go to the anaphylaxis web site, check out the sponsor brands that are visible on the fund raiser ad. These two allergy product comapnies have obviously given money to be there. This doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything underhanded going on, but it raises suspicion very quickly if anything ever goes wrong.
Let me ask you this - do you think Nestle has ever given money (donations/support/co-op marketing) to the anaphylaxis society? I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had. Actually, it is quite common practice. I'm not saying that it is wrong, but it does make it harder for any organization that receives the support to be overly vociferous against the firm that donates it.
I'm not slamming the anaphylaxis societies, I'm asking them to be more accountable. Why didn't they say something months before? Why did they become adversarial only after there was a huge public backlash? Why haven't they come up with an action plan for the public? Their web site mission statement clearly states that they are advocates as well as informers. So far, all they have been is relatively ineffective and now they want to pass the buck to parents. I don't think so.

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 2:33am
EILEEN's picture
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nolfi,
I totally agree with you (having first hand experience of the marketing of pharmaceuticals I have become very cynical about how $$ can hide/play down information).
The web site is great.
I wanted to ask you if you had read any of the March of Dimes/Peanut Board threads because I wanted to hear your thoughts on that issue if you have time.
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001537.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001537.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001511.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001511.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000004.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000004.html[/url]
Thanks
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited May 08, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 3:14am
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I have been following the unfortunate Nestle situation since the news broke, and I must take exception to several of your negative comments aimed at the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada, and their handling of this situation.
Before I begin, you must know I am speaking at the mother of a 3 1/2-year-old peanut allergic girl, and I am not a member of the A.N. of C., but I do intend to join at some point.
First you state: "None of these organizations urged the public to protest or boycott Nestle products."
The AN of C most certainly did encourage consumers to protest this decision and provided a number of different Nestle contacts on their web site - phone #'s, fax #

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 6:30am
JoannaG's picture
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I am a member of the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada and when the Nestle plans became public I called to find out what their approach was going to be; it's just as you've said, Cayley's Mom, and you said it better than I ever could.
They are also encouraging people to sign up in their registry; the link is from their website [url="http://www.anaphylaxis.org"]www.anaphylaxis.org[/url]
Here is information about the registry:
"This registry is for people who are known (or suspected) to be allergic or anaphylactic to food, insect stings, medication, latex or exercise or have a food intolerance or sensitivity. It is designed to benefit you in two ways. Your specific information will allow us to provide you with relevant clinical and educational updates as well as product recalls. It will also give us statistical data for research studies, advocacy and fund-raising. When we approach the food industry, government, airlines, railways, schools, or drug companies, we need data that clearly demonstrate the magnitude and severity of this problem. Please help us to compile this valuable information. All responses are confidential and will not be provided to any other party without your permission. Your information will be kept on a separate server and accessible only by Anaphylaxis Foundation of Canada and the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada. You will receive confirmation of your submission with your name and registry PIN number. To update or delete any information from your file you will require this name and PIN.

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 8:45am
nolfi's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by EILEEN:
[b]nolfi,
I totally agree with you (having first hand experience of the marketing of pharmaceuticals I have become very cynical about how $$ can hide/play down information).
The web site is great.
I wanted to ask you if you had read any of the March of Dimes/Peanut Board threads because I wanted to hear your thoughts on that issue if you have time.
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001537.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001537.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001511.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001511.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000004.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000004.html[/url]
Thanks
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited May 08, 2001).][/b]
I'm away on business and I'll be back tomorrow night. I'll take a look and tell you what I think....

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 8:52am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I feel a short clarification is in order concerning the words "radical" and "non-radical".
I in no way feel that boycotting Nestle products is a radical move. From where I stand, as the parent of a PA child, it is the only way and I fully support the boycott. My point is that boycotters may be [i]perceived[/i] as radical by the general public, and the AN of C probably doesn't want to take that risk.
Also, the AN of C has given tacit approval to the boycott, simply by publishing letters from the public on their web site, most of which strongly encourage a boycott.
Lastly, I don't intend to sit back and let the AN of C be my voice in this matter. I would say from the sheer number of contacts Nestle has received from members of the general public, other people won't complacently sit by and let the AN of C speak for them either.
I'm agreeing with you, Nolfi, that consumers need to take the bull by the horns here - it was your negation of the AN of C effort that I took issue with.
Here's to teamwork - let's make a difference!
Joanna - I'm very interested in finding out more about the AN of C from an "insider". If you have time someday perhaps you could contact me off the board (just click on my profile to get my e-address). Thanks.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2001 - 11:18am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I feel that the pn/tn-allergic community would have had a greater chance of persuading Nestle to keep peanuts out of its plant if we'd known about what was going on and therefore voiced our objections earlier in this process. This is simply because now Nestle have given the go-ahead, without hearing objections directly from consumers, they will have already started to make changes. It's hard to get these big coroparate juggeranauts to make changes and equally hard to get them to stop once they decide to make a change (having spent almost 10 years as a manager in another giant Swiss mutlinational I've seen up close how one works). That is why I am confused (for want of a non-confrontional word!) about why the AN of C decided to tackle this quietly.
That said, I believe it is really important to remain united tackling this one-if we appear divided we will have no hope on this issue nor on any of the other important issues.
Cayley's mom-as always I like to read your point of view and agree that the term "radical" can mean many things. Where I live it is considered extremely radical (and as one parent called me UnAmerican and "go back where I came from"!) to want a peanut-free classroom but I know many of the Canadian posters have that as a right for their kids. Perhaps "radicals" just want to change the status quo, but I agree we don't want to alienate the general population but where the best balance is I have no idea.
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited May 09, 2001).]

Posted on: Mon, 05/14/2001 - 2:20am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I should be more positive in future, Nestle have reversed their decision!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[url="http://library.northernlight.com/FC20010514060000213.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc"]http://library.northernlight.com/FC20010514060000213.html?cb=0&dx=1006&sc=0#doc[/url]
Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp And Mirage Chocolates Will Continue To Be Manufactured In Peanut/Nut-Free Environment -- Company responds to consumer requests - Nestl De remains only national confectionery company offering a variety of popular chocolate brands produced in a peanut/nut-free environment - Company to pursue other approaches to satisfy demand for peanut/nut chocolate products
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Story Filed: Monday, May 14, 2001 11:30 AM EST
TORONTO, May 14, 2001 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Nestl De Canada is pleased to announce that it will continue to manufacture Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp and Mirage in a peanut/nut-free environment. This reverses a previously announced plan to cease production of these products in a peanut/nut-free environment as of January of next year.
"We have been truly overwhelmed by the emotional chord that our original decision struck with consumers," said Graham Lute, Senior Vice-President, Nestl De Canada. "Since our announcement three weeks ago, we have received several thousand letters, phone calls and email messages from Canadians, with and without peanut/nut allergies, asking us to reconsider our position. We've read every email and letter. We've listened to consumers and moved quickly to reverse our original decision. We will pursue other options to satisfy the growing segment of consumers who want peanut/nut chocolate products."
"We realize that consumers need choice and we have tried to be both responsive and responsible in meeting this need," Lute added. "With this decision, we remain the only national confectionery company to provide a variety of popular chocolate products manufactured in a peanut/nut-free environment."
"Peanut and nut allergies are a growing concern," said Dr. Susan Wasserman, Allergist, Clinical Immunologist, McMaster University, The Firestone Chest and Allergy Unit at St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton. "People with this type of condition face limited choices. So do teachers, parents and friends living or working with allergic individuals. They have to be careful too. I commend Nestl De's efforts to provide allergic adults and children with viable options."
The company's decision is effective immediately. However, because Nestl De's original intent was to allow peanut/nuts into its factory by January of next year, it had to begin changing its packaging much sooner, to give consumers advance notice. As a result, an allergy alert will temporarily appear on a limited number of product packages now in stores. The company is in the process of producing new packaging.
"We want to reassure Canadians that these products were manufactured in a peanut/nut-free environment and do not contain peanuts or nuts," said Lute. "We invite consumers to visit our web site at [url="http://www.nestle.ca"]www.nestle.ca[/url] or call us at 1-800-387-4636, if they have any concerns or questions."
To ensure that Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp and Mirage are manufactured in an environment free of peanuts and nuts, Nestl De Canada follows rigorous quality standards.
Nestl De Canada Inc. is known for brands such as KitKat, Stouffer's, Nescaf De, Legend and Parlour ice cream, Carnation and Friskies. The company employs over 4,000 across Canada and has sales in excess of $1.6 billion annually; making it one of the largest value-added food manufacturing companies in Canada.

Posted on: Mon, 05/14/2001 - 2:25am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

Absolutely WONDERFUL news!!!!!! A pat on the back to everyone who contacted Nesle on this. I'm so proud of us all!!! Yeah Nestle!

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