Friday, October 11, 2013

Write to Cadbury's South Africa about Social Responsibility

I recently wrote to Cadbury South Africa about Fair Trade and Packaging and social responsibility in general. I share the letter below to make it easier for you to write, too. If you'd like to take any part of the letter below, feel free. The address is their South African office. 

Cadbury is a very large company, and I am interested in understanding if we as consumers can help to push for change-- both with our money (by forgoing products or avoiding companies) and by sharing the reason so that, if there's a large enough group of us, the company is not left guessing. 

Given that one Cadbury product has adopted the Fair Trade label, there is clearly will from within the company to change. I write to Cadbury, rather than Nestle or Beacon or any number of other companies because it's the chocolate I grew up with and love, and because of the glimmer of hope in this one product with the Fair Trade label.

Even if they become completely Fair Trade and stop packaging their products in plastic, it remains that Cadbury products are not "healthy". I am not sure how to deal with that, but I think it's worth engaging anyway, and accepting that for the next while, my diet is likely to include sugar in different forms.

I suppose there are variations of this same letters to be sent or emailed to any number of large companies? Do you want to share any stories of companies you liked but are currently fasting from. Or companies you would like to appeal to to move in the direction of social responsibility?

Here's the letter:

Customer Services, Cadbury’s
No. 18 Harrowdene office park. 
Kelvin Drive Woodmead, Sandton 2191
Dear Customer Services,

Re: Social Responsibility: Fair Trade and Packaging of Products

I am writing to let you know that I love the taste of Cadbury- I’ve grown up with it, it’s part of so many memories of my childhood. I also want let you know that as a consumer, both the packaging and the origin of the product I consume is important to me.

Cadbury products were once largely packaged in paper and foil- both recyclable. Today, they are wrapped in plastic which never degrades in the environment.

I am so excited to find the Fair Trade label on your plain milk chocolate slabs. It is very encouraging to find that you’re interested in participating in the transformation of the cocoa industry, which as you know is currently one of the largest industries involving child and slave labour. While Cadbury has long been guilty of participation in this industry, as a very large player you are also best equipped to understand the complex issues at play, and meaningfully engage in real transformation. I for one wait for the day when all Cadbury Cocoa is Fair Trade.

I believe I am part of a growing cohort of people who are willing to work hard to understand and control our consumption of the earth’s resources, and others’ labour.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my priorities as a loyal Cadbury customer. I look forward to hearing from you.

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