Taking a break: Nestlé is pulling out of Russia.

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Nestlé takes a break

Food giant Nestlé has been under pressure. Ukrainian leaders, users on social media and even the hacker collective Anonymous have all been calling on Nestlé to pull its products from Russia — and yesterday the world's largest food company finally obliged, announcing that it would stop selling "non-essential" products in Russia.

All told Nestlé sold about $1.8bn worth of products in Russia last year. That's a huge dollar amount but in relative terms it only makes up about 2% of the company's total sales, which topped more than $94bn in 2021.

Nestlé's withdrawal is focused on non-essential products, like confectionery, coffee and pet food - which are major categories for the group globally. Products deemed "essential" will continue to sell, albeit with a promise that any profits from those sales will be donated to humanitarian relief charities.

Name calling

Nestlé's decision to pull out of Russia is another win for Ukrainian leaders that have been targeting specific companies and calling them out for doing business in Russia - a strategy that is working well alongside Ukraine's appeal to governments and trade organizations. The latest companies in the spotlight are French carmaker Renault, supermarket group Auchan and retailer Leroy Merlin, which Zelensky called out this week for their continued Russian operations.

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