We have a responsibility to implement appropriate policies and procedures, and to ensure compliance with our policies, at all times. We have created this database of policies and reports to communicate our position in a number of key areas.
Please refer to our Nutrition Pledge for our overarching commitments in the infant and child nutrition area.
Breast-Milk Substitute Marketing Policy
We are proud to publish our first Breast-Milk Substitute Marketing Policy (BMS Marketing Policy), effective 30 April 2018.
Our BMS Marketing Policy acknowledges the importance and supports the aims and principles of the World Health Organisation (WHO) 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, and outlines our mandatory marketing practices to ensure we support a mother’s choice and ability to breastfeed her infant in line with the recommendations as outlined by the WHO.
Progress and reporting
An interactive overview of our progress in BMS practices over the period 2017 to 2020: with links to our Pledge, BMS Policy, reporting and more:
As part of our governance mandate, we employ a number of monitoring activities, to ensure the proper implementation of, and compliance with the BMS Marketing Policy. One of the monitoring activities deployed, is conducting independent verification audits.
External reporting honours our commitment to transparency and engagement, and we have pledged to publicly report on BMS progress, the results of the independent verification audits and our response and corrective action plan, where necessary.
Breast Milk Substitutes Call to Action
On 25 June 2020, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and six civil society organisations reached out to 21 Manufacturers of Breast Milk Substitutes with a Call to Action, requesting manufacturers to develop and commit to a roadmap to achieve full compliance to the WHO Code of 1981 and subsequent WHA resolutions, by 2030.
At RB, we wholeheartedly share the aim held by the WHO, UNICEF and CSOs and recognise the vital importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and encourage continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond. We support the introduction of safe and age-appropriate complementary foods from six months of age.
Since RB acquired MJN in 2017, we have made significant progress, strengthening policies, processes, governance and training. We have introduced a comprehensive BMS Marketing Policy and an IFCN Pledge and continuously train and monitor compliance internally. We have secured FTSE4Good continued accreditation and periodically conduct external audits and independent validation. (You can find an interactive one-page overview of our progress here (PDF))
RB are looking forward to being part of the continued dialogue and would welcome an industry-wide commitment to better understand the political, economic, societal, cultural and environmental factors that underpin optimal feeding practices, including breastfeeding. There is more to be done to ensure optimal nutrition and health of mothers, infants and children. There is more to be done to ensure optimal nutrition and health of mothers, infants and children. Please see below for our response to the Call to Action: