Reckitt’s purpose is to deliver innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. We aim to support consumers across all of life’s stages, especially during the first 1000 days.
The acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) in June 2017, means that Reckitt is now one of the key players in the Breast-Milk Substitutes (BMS) industry. Acting responsibly is core to our purpose. With our entrance into the BMS category, we commit to providing the highest quality infant and nutritional products, and to market these responsibly and ethically. We will respect not only our own high standards, but also act according to a set of recommendations on the marketing of BMS, as issued in 1981 by the World Health Organisation commonly referred to as the ‘WHO Code’.
The aim of the WHO Code is to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by protecting and promoting breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of BMS, when these are necessary.
On 30 April 2018, Reckitt introduced its first BMS Marketing Policy, an important milestone and a firm illustration of our commitment to acknowledging the importance of the principles of the WHO Code and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions as implemented by governments. Whilst we recognise there are differing views within the industry, we look forward to the opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and other interested parties to help initiate positive change in the industry as a whole, and to contribute to healthier lives and happier homes.
Reckitt commits to be at the forefront of partnerships with stakeholders to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we will work across industry, government and civil society to promote engagement, transparency and continuous improvement. We recognise that growth and responsibility go hand-in-hand. Financially, socially, and environmentally, we act responsibly and sustainably.
Our Pledge and our BMS Marketing Policy, applies to all in the Reckitt Group. Our commitments will be applied consistently wherever we operate and adherence is mandatory for all Reckitt employees and third parties acting under Reckitt’s authorisation.
We acknowledge the importance of the principles of the WHO Code and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions as implemented by governments.
Globally we commit to respecting all local laws and legislation implementing the WHO Code. This applies:
- To all Infant Formulas, and
- To all Delivery Products.
In Higher-Risk countries, as defined by FTSE4Good, our BMS Marketing Policy will cover the following in-scope products:
- Infant Formula, Delivery Products, and
- Follow-on Formulas, and
- Complementary Foods and Beverages for Infants under six months of age.
Further, in Higher-Risk countries, our BMS Marketing Policy applies to all forms of Marketing and related materials.
In all Higher-Risk countries, we will respect whichever are the stricter requirements relating to BMS Marketing - be that local legislation and regulations implementing the WHO Code or our own BMS Marketing Policy. This commitment applies unequivocally to both product scope and/or recommended age period of marketing restrictions.
- We commit to help prevent malnourishment and undernutrition, estimated to be associated with 2.7 million child deaths annually. In-line with the WHO Global Targets 2025, we believe that quality infant and child nutrition is key to improving child survival and promoting healthy growth and development, as well as reducing levels of stunting.
- We support the WHO Code recommendation for 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 appropriate Complementary Foods from six months of age. We commit to actively support breastfeeding for all families and we will work across our supply chain, with our partners, employees and consumers to promote the best start in life and optimal nutrition for the first 1000 days.
- Globally, we commit to respecting all legislation implementing the WHO Code. In all Higher-Risk countries, we respect whichever are the stricter requirements relating to BMS Marketing - be that local legislation or our own BMS Marketing Policy, which applies to all Infant Formulas, Follow-On Formulas, Delivery Products and Complementary Foods for Infants under six months of age.
We commit to improve women’s empowerment in the communities where we live and work, and to diversity across our organisation. We have a particular focus on improving the lives of mothers and infants.
- We commit to improve health, access to clean water and sanitation, because these are the foundations of good health and nutrition.
- We commit to continuous improvement and transparency. Our Pledge will evolve as we seek guidance from key stakeholders, conduct internal and external verifications, and changes in the external environment. The CEO has responsibility for this Pledge and we will ensure all updates will be public and that we engage meaningfully with stakeholders to demonstrate progress.
- We commit as a key player in science-based infant and child nutrition, to continue our scientific and medical research to provide the highest quality infant nutrition, so that children can achieve their full potential.
Breast-Milk Substitutes (BMS):
means any food, being marketed or otherwise presented as a partial or total replacement for breast-milk, for infants up to 12 months, whether or not suitable for that purpose.
any food whether manufactured or locally prepared, suitable as a complement to breast-milk, Infant Formula, or Follow- On Formula, when either become insufficient to satisfy the nutritional requirements of the infant.
is understood to include items such as bottles and teats.
is formula for older infants, marketed as suitable to satisfy the nutritional requirements of infants from six months up to twelve months of age alongside the introduction of appropriate Complementary Food. Food for Special Medical Purposes (‘FSMPs’) intended for infants from six months of age up to 12 months of age, are specifically excluded.
Higher Risk Countries:
Those countries that meet either of the following criteria, according to FTSE4Good:
• more than 10 per 1000 (under five years of age) mortality rate, or
• more than 2% acute malnutrition (moderate and severe wasting) in children under five years of age.
Infant: means a person from birth to twelve months of age.
A Breast-Milk Substitute formulated industrially in accordance with applicable Codex Alimentarius Standards, to satisfy the normal nutritional requirements of infants up to between four and six months of age, and adapted to their physiological characteristics. Food for Special Medical Purposes (‘FSMPs’) intended for infants from birth up to six months of age, are specifically excluded.
Means information concerning the proper use of any in-scope products, all forms of product promotion, distribution, selling, advertising, product public relations and information services.
World Health Organisation International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, of 1981.