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The International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes


The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) retains the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions (hereafter referred to as the Code) as the healthy policy framework for Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) documents in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Growing concern about the aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes led to the implementation of the Code in May 1981 at the 34th World Health Assembly meeting. 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) facilities regarding the use of breastmilk substitutes and/or infant formula:

  • 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


Find Important Documents and Information here.