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The International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes

NZBA retains the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (known as The Code) as the healthy policy framework for all BFI documents in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The Code works to protect and encourage breastfeeding, and to control inappropriate marketing practices to sell products for formula feeding.

The following bullets points highlight the standards expected in all Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) services regarding the use of breastmilk substitutes and/or infant formula.  NZBA expects there to be a rotation of infant formula products (e.g. every six months) to disuade the notion that any one product is a preferred breastmilk substitute.  (The exception to this, of course, is if there is a bacterial contamination of certain products, or product recalls).  Facilities need to avoid any acceptance of inducements from formula companies who may offer incentives to use their products.

NZBA standards are:

  • the facility purchases infant formula for use
  • the price paid is a reasonable price (at least 80 percent of the retail price)
  • the facility manages the usage of infant formula to keep it to a minimum (ensuring a mother's own breastmilk is used whenever possible)
  • the facility keeps good records of the purchase price and usage of infant formula
  • the facility has a policy on formula company representatives visiting


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