Reuters: Nestle follows Campbell Soup in quitting food manufacturer lobby group

FILE PHOTO: The Nestle logo is pictured on the company headquarters entrance building in Vevey, Switzerland February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

by Chris Prentice | October 24, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nestle SA (NESN.S) is leaving the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a lobby group that represents hundreds of food companies in Washington, a spokesman for the group said, just months after a similar decision by Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N).

A source at the company said it will leave at year-end. The move comes during a tumultuous time for food manufacturers facing new labeling requirements and squeezed margins as consumers shun conventional packaged food.

The company did not respond immediately to emailed request for comment.

“Nestle’s participation in GMA will be missed, and we hope there will be a time when they will rejoin us,” said GMA spokesman Roger Lowe. GMA represents over 200 firms, according to its website.

The GMA spent more than $6 million lobbying last year on issues including disclosure of genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients and an overhaul of nutrition labeling requirements, according to congressional filings.

Companies including Nestle have taken differing positions from the GMA on some of those issues, wanting to placate consumers who say they want more transparency and information about supply chains. Where GMA lobbied heavily against labeling of GMO, Nestle has publicly supported disclosure of those ingredients.

Campbell Soup found itself “at odds with some of the positions” held by GMA, the company told investors in July.