Cadbury owner defends decision to continue operating in Russia


The boss of Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, has defended the company’s decision to continue doing business in Russia, despite criticism from consumers and campaigners.

In an interview with the Financial Times, chief executive Dirk Van de Put said that investors did not “morally care” and that “there has been no shareholder pressure whatsoever” to leave the country.

Some of Mondelez’s biggest shareholders include Vanguard, Capital Group and BlackRock, which all declined to comment, however Vanguard has previously stated that it donates to organisations supplying resources to Ukranian children and families.

Van De Put said: “I wonder what happened with the companies that were sold, who got them and what are they doing with the cash that those companies generate? They all went to friends of Putin,” adding, “and you can bet that the cash they generate [that] goes to the war is much bigger than the taxes we would pay.”

Subscribe to Grocery Gazette for free

Sign up here to get the latest grocery and food news each morning

Last year, the food company’s Russian business contributed 2.8% of its global revenues, down from 4% in 2022.

A Mondelez spokesperson told The Telegraph: “In terms of our operations in Russia, there is no simple solution. If stopping our operations in Russia would stop the war, we would do it immediately. Unfortunately, it is not that straightforward.

“Like most other global food and beverage companies, we are continuing to provide food during these challenging times in accordance with applicable sanctions.

“Suspending our operations would mean cutting off part of the food supply for many families who have no say in the war. It would also create great uncertainty for our 3,000 colleagues and more than 10,000 farmers who depend on us.”

Unilever chief executive Hein Schumacher has also faced calls for the FMCG giant to leave the country, and last year, he promised that he would look with “fresh eyes” at the decision to retain its Russian business.

However, the company insisted that keeping the Russian business was the best option as it prevented it from ending up in the hands of the Russian state, either directly or indirectly.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.



Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest grocery news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.