Thursday, December 1, 2016


I confess – I really, really, really like my chocolate! And I have sampled quite a bit in my time. Of course I have tried Nestle, Mars, Cadbury, Lindt, Haigh’s and more in the past. These days I tend to stick to just a couple of brands, with Lindt and Haighs being my personal favourites.
But let’s take a look at Cadbury vs Lindt. In the taste test stakes Lindt wins hands down for me, but that all boils down to personal preference. So let’s have a look at the companies and their practices.
Cadbury’s is owned by American giant Mondelez International.  They had to shut down their factory recently for five weeks due to an oversupply of stock. The ABC reported last year, “The Hobart Cadbury factory will close its doors for five weeks at the end of this year." 
Monodelez International said, ,"The Claremont factory would shut 
down over the Christmas period due to lagging sales and a bigger-than-expected stockpile.”
In the UK Cadbury's had to sack 200 of their employees as redundant.
Add to this the fact it is facing boycotts in Australia from consumers against halal certification, and that it has also faced boycotts from Malaysian consumers because of suspected pork contamination. 
That turned out to be a storm in a teacup but, too late, the damage was done.
They have recently announced they will be reducing the size of their family block by one row but the price will remain the same. The signal is they are struggling and desperate for Government support that was promised 18 months ago.
When consumers ring Cadbury's to inquire about halal certification they are often met with abrupt and unfriendly receptionists fed up with dealing with the large volume of dissatisfied customers. 
The generic email response to queries about halal certification says they will not tolerate racism, bigotry or discrimination. And yet, by paying for halal certification that is exactly what they are promoting! 
I have had leaders of the Sikh community call me to encourage me because they are forbidden to eat halal certified foods. They feel very discriminated against as so many products are literally off limits due to their religious beliefs. 
I have had Buddhists say the same thing. 
Many Christians believe their scriptures also forbid eating food dedicated to false gods. Some Jews agree too.
Cadbury’s decision to maintain and defend halal certification despite the large number of complaints they receive is bewildering. It obviously doesn't increase sales as their company is certainly suffering. 
Perhaps they should cease paying these fees for a year and see what happens?
In stark contrast Lindt has announced that their market share continued to increase in 2014. Their website claims they had significant sales growth in all markets, with substantial market share gains. 
They don’t pay halal certification fees and their business is booming!
Lindt chooses to make their product available to all people of all faiths and backgrounds. They do not discriminate or limit their customer base by giving in to needless religious demands placed on them. 
They successfully share their delicious product in many countries around the world. You can read the label and contact the company to determine if the product is suitable for you. No unnecessary or irrelevant religious practices catered for or funded by the consumer. 
No Islamic religious requirement imposed upon the consumer. No funding of mosques, Islamic schools or “charities” with your chocolate purchases.
There are many Australian and international companies successfully growing and thriving without halal certification. Greens, Three Threes, Inglewood Chicken, Madura Tea, Haigh’s Chocolate and so many more. 
Quite a few companies have also dropped halal certification in recent times out of respect for the consumer and market sentiment. 
The ones I have spoken to have told me that nothing has changed and that Muslims are still buying their products. The products are still suitable or permissible for Muslims, but as a result of not paying the certification fees they now can reach a broader market. 
They are no longer limited by religious beliefs or practices. The food remains the same, it's just available to more consumers. Everyone wins.
If Muslims insist on halal slaughtered meat that is fine, but they can raise the money themselves to pay for specialised halal slaughterers. User pays! 
And it doesn’t need to be disproportionate to the demand. Around 2.2% of Australia is Muslim, it should be no more than that percentage in relation to halal certified products.
The Way I See really is time for companies catering for the Australian domestic market to take notice of their consumers and act accordingly. Having an Islamic religious practice imposed on us and asking us to fund it is indeed discriminatory and unnecessary! 
There are over 70 of Cadbury's products that have been certified halal. Just Crazy !!

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