23rd May 2011

MPs' committee criticises Kraft boss over refusal to attend takeover hearings

A House of Commons select committee has released a critical report about Kraft's conduct in the wake of its takeover of Cadbury in 2010.

Though couched in the careful language of officialdom, Is Kraft working for Cadbury? reveals the frustration of MPs when Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld turned down repeated requests to appear before the committee to answer questions about the controversial acquisition.

27th January 2010

The Kraft-Cadbury takeover

Last week, Cadbury and Kraft agreed terms for an £11.6bn takeover. It ended a long, drawn out and very public campaign by Cadbury to preserve its independence.

Cadbury's unions have led the opposition to the takeover, warning that thousands of jobs will be put at risk. Kraft now has a considerable amount of debt and a record of aggressive cost-cutting. The Unite union put together an opposition document for Cadbury's shareholders.

Kraft has stated that it expects "to ­honour Cadbury's commitments to sustainable and ethical sourcing, including Fairtrade" but it looks unlikely that Kraft would continue to expand its use of Fairtrade cocoa beans into brands beyond Dairy Milk.

The deal has re-shaped the global chocolate industry, which is now dominated by just four large companies: Kraft/Cadbury, Mars, Nestle and Ferrero. This excellent interactive graphic at the Guardian website shows at a glance the new companies and their product range.

Nestle is now in the unsual position of being third place, behind the Mars and the new Kraft/Cadbury giant, an unfamiliar role for the world's largest food corporation. It might not remain that way for too long as it is eyeing up Hershey, an American company with an iconic status similar to Cadbury in the UK.