Cadbury and Unilever face calls for King to revoke royal warrants amid Russian links


Campaigners are urging the King to revoke the royal warrants of Cadbury, Unilever and other prominent FMCGs over their Russian links.

Ukrainian campaigning group B4 Ukraine has argued that the Mondelez-owned chocolate brand and the British-based food and drink manufacturer, whose portfolio includes Magnum, Marmite and Ben and Jerry’s, should have their warrants stripped as they continue to operate under Vladimir Putin’s regime, reported The Telegraph.

The campaigners have also urged that Nestlé and Bacardi have their royal warrant revoked.

Campaigners wrote in their letter: “The continued presence and financial support of these companies in Russia only serves to prolong the brutal war against Ukraine.

“We urge the Royal Family to stand in solidarity with Ukraine by demonstrating that companies contributing to the suffering and devastation in Ukraine will not be bestowed with the privilege and honour of holding a royal warrant.

“Such a decisive step would not only demonstrate the solidarity of the Royal Family with Ukraine but also convey that the Family does not condone the continued presence of these companies in Russia.”

The royal warrants awarded to the Unilever, Nestlé, Bacardi and Cadbury were not granted by King Charles or Queen Camilla in the latest rounds of awards, but are held from the late Queen Elizabeth II.

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Bacardi was given a warrant to supply the late Queen with vermouth, Cadbury’s warrant allowed it to supply cocoa and chocolate, while both Nestlé and Unilever hold general warrants for food and household goods.

It is understood the Royal household is currently reviewing the status of hundreds of royal warrants granted by the late queen, with a decision on which companies will retain them due to be issued later this year.

The calls come as last month, Mondelez was again probed over selling chocolates in Russia at its AGM, following campaign groups, consumers and senior MP criticising the snacking company.

However in February the boss of Mondelez defended the company’s decision to continue to do business in Russia, despite criticism from consumers and campaigners alike.

Chief executive Dirk 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.”

He added: “And you can bet that the cash they generate [that] goes to the war is much bigger than the taxes we would pay.”

Elsewhere other FMCGs have ceased to operate in Russia, including Danone who in March was forced to transfer its accounts in the region due to “losing control of the management”, in a takeover the company described as a “total loss” amounting to £1bn (€1.2bn).



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