Cadbury an Ethical Company Struggles to Insure the Integrity of Its Supply Chain

9806 Words Nov 1st, 2011 40 Pages
yale case 07-039 november 27, 2007 (revised august 24, 2008)

Cadbury∗
An Ethical Company Struggles to Insure the Integrity of Its Supply Chain
Sumana Chatterjee1 Jaan Elias 2

Chocolate had always been considered an affordable little luxury, associated with romance and celebrations. Therefore in 2000 and 2001, revelations that the production of cocoa in the Côte d’Ivoire involved child slave labor set chocolate companies, consumers, and governments reeling. In the United States, the House of Representatives passed legislation mandating that the FDA create standards to permit companies who could prove that their chocolate was produced without forced labor to label their chocolate “slave-labor free.” To forestall such labeling, the
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The trees need to be shaded from the direct sunlight and therefore grow best in the “understory” of the forest, shielded by taller trees from the rays of the sun. This distinctive growing arrangement meant that cocoa cannot be grown on monocrop farms that allow mechanized cultivation and harvesting. Cocoa farming required a good deal of manual labor to get the beans from the tree to the factory. Newly planted cocoa trees require five to seven years of growth before they produce appreciable fruit, but once they mature the trees could produce beans for more than 50 years. Cocoa beans grow inside large footballshaped pods on the branches of the cocoa trees. These pods are manually cut from the branches with long handled knives. Once on the ground, the woody pod is split by machete and then workers scoop out the beans and pulp. Piles of bean and pulp are then covered with leaves or burlap and left out to ferment. It is during the fermentation process that the cocoa beans take on their distinctive flavor. After five to six days of on-site fermentation the beans are uncovered, separated from additional material and allowed to dry in the sun. Once dry, they can be collected and shipped to processing factories. Because of the increasing popularity of chocolate in Europe, Europeans introduced cocoa trees in the various tropical colonies under their control. The French introduced cocoa trees to Côte d’Ivoire in the 1920s. Côte d’Ivoire

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