Graphic by Corrina Reiss.
The Butler Collegian is committed to sharing diverse viewpoints from across the university and to upholding values of free speech. However, the Collegian does not endorse or promote opinions contained within any letter to the editor.
To the Butler community,
We write this letter collectively as organizations who are dedicated to upholding the principles of justice and equity that come through promoting radical change, regardless of the obstacles that stand in our way. We recognize the power that exists when we join together in solidarity for a common goal. We find that power in our collective support for the ongoing boycott of one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies: Nestlé.
Nestlé has a history of unethical practices that have had a devastating impact worldwide. Our boycott is based on the company’s long history of concerning business practices, particularly with regard to its exploitation of natural resources and human rights abuses. Nestlé has been criticized for its treatment of workers and engagement in child labor practices in its supply chain; these actions go against fundamental human rights and ethical business practices.
The company has also been accused of promoting the sale of infant formula over breast milk, even in developing countries where access to clean water and sanitation is limited, leading to infant deaths and other concerning health issues.
In addition to this, Nestlé has been accused of depleting and polluting water sources in various regions around the world, including in the United States, Pakistan and Brazil. The company has been accused of draining water from natural sources in areas where people are suffering from water shortages, often without paying for it. This has had a disastrous effect on the environment and the communities that depend on these water sources. Nestlé’s actions are not only unethical but also unsustainable, and they have led to increased environmental degradation and human suffering.
Finally, Nestlé’s support of the Israeli government actively contributes to the genocide of Palestinian people. The injustices faced by the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli regime are something that we cannot, in good faith, support or uphold, both as individuals and as a grassroots movement. As student organizers and people that stand up against the injustices faced by the Palestinian people, we are calling for a boycott of Nestlé products, both on and off campus.
Nestlé has proven, time and time again, that they value capital profit over the lives of others. As consumers, we have the power to demand that companies like Nestlé operate in a responsible and ethical manner. We urge you, as well, to join us in our support of marginalized people. By supporting this boycott, we can send a strong message that we will not tolerate unethical practices and that we expect companies to prioritize the well-being of people and the environment over profits. We urge all Butler students to join the boycott of Nestlé and to support companies that prioritize ethical business practices and environmental stewardship. We must let our spending reflect our values.
We ask for your support as our peers and colleagues in this boycott of Nestlé to support the rights of marginalized and oppressed peoples. The Students for Justice in Palestine and all signed organizations recognize that all of our struggles for liberation are interconnected; we are united in our fight against systems of colonial oppression.
Students for Justice in Palestine
Advocates 4 Autism
Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance
Black Student Union
Bulldogs for Universal Design
Butler LGBTQIA+ Alliance
Diversity Program Council
Gender Equity Movement
Latinx Student Union
Muslim Student Association
South Asian Student Association
Students of Color Allied in Healthcare
Dr. Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer
Collegian Content Managing Editor Mae-Mae Han currently serves as the president of Students of Color Allied in Healthcare, which — as an organization — signed onto this letter to the editor. Managing Editor Kobe Mosley and Culture Co-Editor Leah Ollie are executive board members of Black Student Union, which also signed onto this letter. None of the above editors were contributors to this letter.