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I Blame the Eggs

January 27, 2010

So Cadbury has been bought by Kraft Foods. Cadbury, the company founded by a Quaker family to provide alternatives to alcohol; Cadbury, the firm of George Cadbury who constructed the village of Bourneville at his own expense to “alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions”; Cadbury, whose Dairy Milk chocolate just recently went Fair Trade. That same Cadbury has now been sold, leaving an uncertain future for the jobs and the values the Cadbury name used to represent.

Why did it happen? You could say that it’s part of the unsustainable growth mentality we seem to be stuck in. But I blame the eggs…

January 1st to April 4th has recently been pronounced ‘Creme Egg Season’. April 4th, you might think, don’t I recognise that date from somewhere? Yes, perhaps. Technically it’s Easter Day. But don’t worry about that. These 94 days are now Consumption Time. Never mind the fact that Christmas barely finished before this new ‘season’ began. Never mind the fact that they’ve nearly doubled Lent (presumablytheir best sales period). Never mind the fact that Lent is a period of fasting.

This is the turbo-consumer economy. We have no time to fast. Everything is up for repackaging. All is consumption; all is pleasure. Never mind about Haiti or the other salutory struggles of life.

So I blame the eggs. The same non-stop, maximising philosophy behind the ads was also behind the Kraft takeover and in the minds of the shareholders who accepted it.

Thank goodness, though, Easter can’t be rebranded away. It’s values can’t be taken over. And still in 2010 it calls for compassionate business people, like the original Cadbury’s, to show the world that there’s more to life than money.

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