Human Rights Violations in Pakistan
Nestlé has for a long time, used its international influence to extend the privatization of water resources. Proponents argue that it will enable a more efficient and cost effective way of allocating water while opponents criticize that water will be commodified, depriving it of its status as a necessity and turning it into a good which is governed by market forces and profit.
In Bhati, a province of Pakistan, the industrial extraction of potable water for the production of bottled mineral water leads to a drastic reduction of the local ground water level. Usually, local habitants are the ones who suffer most from the consequences of the extraction such as water shortage or pollution. The production and sale of plastic bottles is highly profitable for Nestlé, because it can charge a price 300 to 1000 times the price of tap water and usually acquires extremely cheap concessions on water usage. In most Western countries tap water can be consumed without concern.
With a total market share of 19 % Nestlé is the largest worldwide producer of bottled water and owns 5 international brands (Perrier, Contrex, Vittel, Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino).
At the World Water Forum (WWF) in March 2012 in Marseille, Nestlé together with the World Bank argued in favor of more privatization of water resources to render their allocation more efficient. Water shortage and inadequate logistics are considered major obstacles for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The positive effects of more privatization of water remains contested.
Please find more information on Nestlé’s water policies here:
The website of the film “bottled life” provides further information on the topic.