Nestlé Ethics and Social Responsibility – Report on Issues

May 24, 2021 by Essay Writer

Today’s business requires social responsibility and excellent performance of companies. Ethical responsibility is the integrative element of social responsibility that is destined to satisfy costumers’ demands. In this context, there appear ethical problems of company’s business that can lower an ethical rating of a company and reduce its popularity among people (potential customers). Even multinational world companies have low ratings, and that is why are vulnerable to be blamed in unethical behavior.

It seems to be necessary to examine ethics of one of the multinational world companies to understand its ethical criteria and rate them. Nestlé’s company can be one of the examples to be illustrated: “in 1977, Nestle got embroiled in a controversy, when it was criticized for using unethical marketing practices endangering consumer health to promote its infant formula in developing nation”. [1] Since that time, this company was constantly criticized for unethical behavior and violation of costumers’ rights.

The research in the sphere of Nestlé’s ethics shows that the company has lots of low-rated ethical criteria to be accused of. Genetically modified (GM) food would not be an asset for many costumers. According to Lawrence’s on-line article, this company has overcharged prices that can not be accessible for the low-income group of people in the world. For example, the cost of the produced “Pure Life”, bottled water, is outrageously high for the Asian people for whom potable water is extremely necessary.[2] Moreover, in the article, unfair labor practices were illustrated with examples. Coffee beans and cocoa in Nestlé’s company are the result of hard work of those who get them on African plantations. The author says that unfavorable working conditions and people’s exploitation with a child’s labor worsen the image of the company and proves its unethical attitude towards workers.[3]

Ethical standards exist in each world organizations and nonconformity may affect badly on company’s reputation. Nestlé’s experience has proved that the company is lack of respecting of human rights and local regulations (laws for permission or prohibition of something) that can satisfy minimal demands of customers and workers. To be honest with the costumers is one of the unwritten ethical duties of all the companies. Maintenance of ethical standards satisfies costumers’ needs and makes them happy:

“As “happiness” is the only thing that is good in and of itself, the utilitarian needs to know the details of a situation and its possible consequences in order to decide what is ethically right and wrong”[4].

The author of the cited article is talking about ethical behavior in reference to consumers. Nestlé does not label GM ingredients of the products; consequently, can customers give credence to the company? The ethical code of this company should correspond to individual human rights and ethical attitude to customers they want to satisfy. Meanwhile, the company sets itself up with well-thought publicity, and shows attractive pictures of the products as if they measure up all the consumer’s needs.

If we proceed from the stated above the following table can show the ethical rating of Nestlé’s company, where one can see the ethical criteria and their possible consumers’ evaluations; A=excellent, B=good, C=adequate, D=requiring major improvement, F=failure.

External image of the company in the world A
Vended business’ ethical principles B
Respecting of human rights C
Ethical attitude to customers D
Ethical attitude to workers D
High priced of necessary products D
Not labeled GM food F

The presence of “C”, “D” and “F” shows the low grade of the company (so five last criteria have bad ethical performance), and 3 “D” show that several point require major improvement (ethical criteria with “D”). Thus, I grade this company as D=require major improvement. Nestlé is a low grade company and needs ethical performance improvement for the costumers, company’s workers, price strategy, and for the public weal.

The company should satisfy customers’ needs. Such principles like “do not harm” and “do more good” should be taken into consideration here; it should follow the human rights and embody ethical attitude in labeled ingredients (especially, with GM) of their products, favorable working conditions and fair prices for essential products. If such multinational world companies like Nestlé do not change their ethical image, human health may be affected, and distrust of customers in the whole world may be developed.

Works Cited

Casillas, Daisy. “No More Water Wonderlands”. 2010: n.pag. Web.

Lawrence. “Ethical Dilemma in Today’s Business”. N.d.: n. pag. Web.


  1. Lawrence. “Ethical Dilemma in Today’s Business”. N.d., 3
  2. Lawrence. “Ethical Dilemma in Today’s Business”. N.d., 5
  3. Lawrence. “Ethical Dilemma in Today’s Business”. N.d., 7
  4. Casillas, Daisy. “No More Water Wonderlands”. 2010.
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