New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Comment >

Leader: The Kit-Kat club

THE association of chocolate with the two main Christian festivals is, we think, a coincidence. None the less, so much chocolate is being bought at the present time that Kraft has been attracted into British waters by the aroma of a successful Cadbury’s operation. The management of Cadbury’s is resisting a takeover by the American food giant by parading the com­pany’s ethical credentials: founded by a Quaker in 1824; renowned for the care of its workers in Bournville; and, in July this year, the first mainstream chocolate bar to use Fairtrade cocoa. Things are not entirely clear-cut. In 2007, Cadbury’s an­nounced its intention of switching some of its production to Poland to take advantage of lower labour costs. Its CEO, Todd Stitzer, a naturalised American, talks of being open to someone offering “compelling value” for the company’s shares.

This week, the Archbishop of York posed in front of a large Kit-Kat poster to mark the first Fairtrade bars. Nestlé, which took over Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988, has been forced to follow Cadbury’s example, since both have been targeted by campaigners concerned about the exploitation of plantation workers, including children. The fact that similar arguments were being rehearsed in 1909 (see 100 years ago) is a shocking reminder that 100 years of progress in manufacturing has not been matched by justice for those in the developing world who produce the raw materials.

The Church Times in 1909 was alarmed by a perceived fall in standards at Cadbury’s, and its wider implication. “We fear that the strong and winsome sentiment against slavery is weakening.” It is to be hoped that, at the present time, the tide is running in the other direction. The welfare of workers in the developing world, and the environmental impact of production, are routinely scrutinised by shareholders. The whole nut still to crack, of course, is the equitable sharing of profit. Shareholders are clearly not the most obvious party to pursue this, although Christian investors can have a hand in it. It is up to customers to ensure that, whatever they buy, however brightly wrapped, has no taste of exploitation to it.

See Dave Walker's blog

Job of the week

Archdeacon

Europe

Diocese in Europe The Church of England Archdeacon of Germany & Northern Europe and Archdeacon of the East (with a diocesan brief for mission) This is a unique opportunity to contribute to th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

The advocacy and the ecstasy

The advocacy and the ecstasy

St Teresa, born in Avila 500 years ago this weekend, is often depicted in a religious fervour. But there was much more to her than that, writes Laurie Vere  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Can Christians be trendy?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Lessons from history can teach us how to live

The long shadow of the past can not only illuminate the present but also point to a more hopeful future, writes David Monteith  Subscribe to read more

Sun 29 Mar 15 @ 9:38
RT @MadsDaviesV sad piece by Christina Patterson in S Times. Have any youth leaders read it? http://t.co/irRPTqNfgr http://t.co/Nz5GUM9SeU

Sat 28 Mar 15 @ 17:15
"Crude, insensitive, and paternalistic" - Franklin Graham condemned by Evangelical leaders http://t.co/fxGu6MbYWG http://t.co/HDgzZphVEz