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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 health 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 bullet points highlight the standards required in all Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accredited services regarding the use of breastmilk substitutes and/or infant formula.  Maternity services in Aotearoa are to provide regular rotation of infant formula products (e.g. every six months) to disuade the notion that any one product is a preferred breastmilk substitute. All maternity and neonatal services are to avoid any acceptance of free gifts or other inducements from formula companies.

The WHO/UNICEF and BFHI standards for Aotearoa require maternity services to:

  • purchase all infant formula and the price paid is at least 80 percent of retail price
  • manage the use of infant formula to keep it to a minimum (ensuring a mother's own breastmilk is used whenever possible)
  • keep accurate records of the purchase price and usage of infant formula
  • have a policy on visits from formula company representatives.


Find Important Documents and Information here.