Cadbury founder descendant rebukes owners ‘disappointing’ Russian position

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Cadbury has come under fire from a descendant of its founder after he criticised the US owner’s decision to continue to sell products in Russia, as going against the firm’s core values.

James Cadbury – a descendant of John Cadbury who founded the Birmingham chocolate brand in 1824 – described Mondelēz’s actions as “disappointing”, reported The Telegraph.

He said: “Cadbury has always stood for peace and corporate social responsibility, so I’d say it is disappointing that Mondelēz is operating in Russia.

“If the original founder was somebody who was still involved, I’m sure that operations within Russia probably wouldn’t be something on the agenda.”

Referring to how John Cadbury is widely considered as a pioneer of ethical workforce and improving civil rights, Cadbury added: [The brand has] been involved in lots of social reform over the years in terms of working conditions [and the treatment of] women back in the day when women weren’t treated very well at work.”


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His comments come amid a recent increased scrutiny on Mondelēz, after campaigners last week came together to urge the King to revoke the royal warrants of Cadbury, Unilever and other prominent FMCGs over their Russian links.

The calls followed Mondelēz last month being 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 Mondelēz 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.”

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

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

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