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Cadbury chocolates are one of the leading selling brands across the globe. It practices ethics and good practices by taking safety measures and health concerns so that the standards of chocolates are maintained. The value of Cadbury is based upon the fact that it is performance-driven and value-led. The company put the aspect of quality first along with the safety activities and embraces new ideas along with diverse cultures. The supply chain plays a strong role in the management of the business to maintain ethical standards (Gulati, 2005). The ethical standards of the company were struggling to maintain its ethics as the raw material procured from Ghana and other parts were impacting human rights and business integrity. The issue faced was mainly in the supply chain as it was struggling to maintain the human rights factors along with the environmental aspects. Cadbury is taking measures to help the farmers of the cocoa by eradicating child labor and providing better working standards to labor by building farming capacity. To secure the supply quality and to ensure human rights and mitigation of abuse and violence, Cadbury was to invest millions in the rural development over 10 years. Cadbury is taking measures to improve the conditions of the farmers in Ghana thus improving the supply chain and maintaining sustainable growth. The company is taking measures to improve the supply chain so that the farm compliance is met along with the labor standards. However, the measures taken were not being adequate as the cocoa was produced in many small farms in Africa; therefore, to monitor the standards were unrealistic (Griek & et al., 2010). The eradication of child labor was becoming impossible; therefore, the company is taking measures to stop buying from the suppliers of Ghana to ensure human rights and ethics in the supply chain.


Research Aims/Objectives

In recent times, Cadbury is having some problems related to the ethical factors of its supply chain and thus, is in search of improvement measures. The research study aims to find out the reasons behind Cadbury’s supply chain struggle for its ethical integrity and the ways of rising above the situation. Based on the aim, the objectives thus formed are-

To find out the different ethical issues of Cadbury’s supply chain

To find out the reasons behind Cadbury’s supply chain struggle to maintain its ethical integrity

To recommend the improvement strategies of rising above the situation

Ethical Issues of Child labor

In accordance with the report of ILO (2001), use of child labor is a common practice in agricultural segment and it is specifically widespread in countries where cocoa is made. On the basis of the forecasts of ILO, there were about 378000 working children in Côte d’Ivoire alone and that does not conform to the international regulatory standards for running business. The study of Schrage & Ewing (2005) mentioned that popular chocolate brand such as Cadbury’s suppliers at times involve in exploitation of child labor throughout the production of cocoa. This generates clear risks to the company reputation and therefore can face legal issues. In the US, the trade regulations inhibit importation of products, which are produced from slaved workers and forced child labor. According to Chatterjee & Elias (2008), in Cadbury, most of the products are sourced from Ghana, as it is a rich source of cocoa and hence, it has confronted problems. Cadbury require to ensure that its suppliers use ethical practices. However, in reality, monitoring the activities of the suppliers is quite difficult as most of the cocoa farms are situated in bush areas. It is opined by Chatterjee & Elias (2008) that the culture of Cadbury is rooted in the religious traditions as the organization pays attention to the welfare of their workers and follows proper practices. As per the history is concerned in the year 1908 company ended its relationship with slave labor but after about 100 years, Cadbury is facing ethical issues about slavery again. The ethical issue of child labor is because cocoa is usually produced in areas like West Africa. The abolition of slavery is rooted years back but for the cocoa plantation, the slave labors have been reemployed thus exploiting the ethics of the business. Cadbury being an ethical company, tried to boycott the production of cocoa from Portuguese so that human rights are not violated. This action by the Cadbury Company affected the markets of chocolates and then the slave production cocoa was slowing being stopped to improve the ethical practices in the chocolate industry (Bailey, 2013). In this context, it is worthy to state that the cocoa industry is one of the multi-billion industries. Thus, it cannot shake over the issues of slavery labor issues impacting the business.

In the present-day context, Cocoa farms have employed thousands of children for the production of cocoa. The use of child labor in the modern world is nothing less than violence or coercion of children, and sourcing of cocoa from such a nation impacts the ethical sustainability of Cadbury. It is argued by Sackett (2004) that developing nations are poverty-stricken and the use of child labor is not by choice but is out of economic necessity. The involvement of forced labor in cocoa farms has a strong impact on the Cadbury business and its traditional culture. It is further stated that child labor is one of the issues that are being spread nationwide where cocoa is grown. As per the data collected by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), 2002, about 625000 children were involved in the production of cocoa in Cote D’Ivoire and about 12000 of them had no family connection. It is suggested from the study that nonfamily laborer is more in the cocoa farms affecting the ethical concerns of the suppliers relating to the ethical supply chain (Bailey, 2013). The issue that is primarily affecting the ethical concern of Cadbury is because the disputes of forced child labor might be disputed, and children are involved in the hazardous activities that are subjected to mistreatments. It is revealed from the study by many that the labor conditions and treatment of them are impacting the ethical approach of the company. Contextually, children usually perform arduous tasks and also work for the same working hours as adults; this is nothing but a violation of child rights. Child labor is not supported and the treatment of children in the cocoa farms is pathetic. Children are paid less in comparison to other labors the work environment is not effective for children. The tasks that are performed by children are not easy as they are part of the heavy transportation loads, application of pesticides and fertilizers and use of machetes. From one of the surveys that were conducted in the year, 2005 reflected that about 92% of children are part of the forced labor. Abusing children and not meeting expectations is another factor that impacts the ethical practices of the supply chain of Cadbury (2010).

According to the words of BizClik Media Ltd (2019), Cadbury is a leading chocolate company, but it is struggling to maintain its ethical integrity. Chocolates are luxury but are available at affordable prices due to the child labor involved and the treatment faced by children. The company is unable to maintain the ethical practices as cocoa production is done small farms and requires a good deal of manual labor for the beans to be of quality. The work is tedious and involves extensive hard work and employing children reduces the costs of the production. As the firms are small, it becomes difficult for the government to monitor the compliance of standards by the firms. Cadbury to improve its ethical concern was part of the confrontation which was against child labor so that the supply chain is improved.

Cadbury ethical Concerns

The ethical and environmental record by the chocolate industry is being investigated based upon the standards set for the effective performance relating to child labor, deforestations and ethics for better industry standards. The concern that is faced by Cadbury is regarding the cocoa policies by the government and the prices which were declining. The issue that is impacting the ethical concern relating to the supply chain is due to cocoa production the main factor of the chocolates. Deforestation is another factor that is being faced by cocoa production. As

investigated between 2001 to 2014, about 117, 886 hectares of the forest have been impacted in Ghana one of the leading exporters of cocoa (Ethical Corporation, 2019). The issue is serious as the trees are replaced by cocoa trees in the protected areas, which are illegal. Owing to this unethical behavior, the local wildlife is being affected; thus, animals such as Chimpanzees and elephants are disappearing. This aspect of production is impacting the ethical concerns of one of the leading ethical chocolate company Cadbury. Thus, the underlying cause that is caused due to child labor and deforestation is poverty. The average income of the cocoa farmer is too less leading to poverty. Therefore, more child labors are forced, as they are cheap labors available (Smith, 2007). This implies that change in the policing of child labor and deforestation might impact the price of cocoa. Business companies today focus upon the ethical aspects in the supply chain; therefore, the struggle of Cadbury in the supply chain can be witnessed as the raw material involved leads to child labor and deforestations. The double standards of the business-like Cadbury can be witnessed by the fact that for cheap chocolate bars, young children are suffering (Gulati, 2005). Concerning the business practices and to ensure ethical factors in the supply chain it was stated by the government not to purchase raw material from places that uses child labor. This will help to eradicate child labor from the supply chain; therefore, Cadbury is taking measures not to source cocoa from Cote d Ivoire as they are part of the child labor. Cadbury faces the struggle as argued by Ruehle & et. al., (2017) as they are unable to avoid child labor because it is sourcing cocoa from West Africa, which is practicing unethical business standards are using child labor for cheap production. It is noted that companies are unable to eradicate the practices of child labor and more due to market pressure and constraints.

The problems in the supply chain are owing to the potentially manifest in the supply chain of cocoa, which constitutes of abusive human rights. Poor standards of labor and child trafficking, along with the prevalence of forced labor, leads to hazardous labor practices. The factor that is affecting the ethical practices of the supply chain is owing to child labor practices that are impacting the supply chain of the Cadbury industry. The supply chain risk faced by Cadbury is high because of the ethical practices is one of the leading concerns. The risk in the supply chain impacts the investors because the direct link of the supply chain leads to child labor. In this context, it is ascertained by Tate & et al., (2010) that international media, along with civil society supplier relationships directly or indirectly impacts the business based upon the factors such as human trafficking and forced child labor. The concern in the supply chain impacts the reputational risks.

Steps to eradicate the issues of supply chain

Cadbury is part of the lawsuits that are about the involvement of child labor affecting human rights and organizational behavior. The aspect is to support a better life for children and avoiding labor child. Deforestation is affecting the environment; therefore, the supply chain of Cadbury is struggling to maintain the ethical concern of the supply chain. It is also stated by Smith & et al. (2010) that Cadbury, along with other chocolate companies, needs to develop policies and prohibits suppliers from the effective use of child labor and needs to cover the fact that labors of the firms are covered under the international labor conventions. To maintain ethics in the supply chain, it is vital to implement compliance monitors and policies. The minimum age of employment needs to be followed by the suppliers to ensure sustainability and good practices in the supply chain. To reduce the risks, Cadbury is taking measures to set specific targets to attain cocoa that is procured so that the long-term commitment is ensured based upon proper certification. Another factor in improving the supply chain is by building capacity producers by training farmers and maintaining human rights for sustainable cocoa. Cadbury is taking measures, as stated by Kilonzo (2012) to improve the overall transparency by disclosing proper commitments, monitoring along with auditing activities to ensure an ethical supply chain. According to Griek, L. & et. al., (2010), there is good relationship between Ghana and Cadbury, which has made the company in an exclusive position to enhance the situation. Religion forged throughout years had assisted to obtain the required support for child labor and education initiatives along with Cadbury’s individual economic and development schemes. Cadbury has also assisted the local government to create schoolhouses and buildings for the children along with social efforts.

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Research Methodology

The research philosophy is the most vital part of the research methodology. It has been noticed that through the use of these methods, the scholar will be able to gather effective methods for carrying on the research study. Implementation of proper research philosophy is needed to be done so that the scholar can provide some presumptions and conviction. The leading factors of the research philosophy are positivism, interpretivism, realism, and pragmatism. With the support of interpretivism, the scholar will be able to gather consciousness about the information that is of great human interest (Saunders et al., 2015).

On the other hand, the realism research philosophy can also be used as through this, the notion of reality can be understood. The knowledge and their scopes will also be increased with this. The positivist research philosophy is used for understanding the opinion of the existing theory. Information from the data collected will also be gathered from this process. The research scholar of this study will use the pragmatism research philosophy as through this, the research problem and the methods will be used for providing an effective amount of liberty to the scholar. This will also help know the company, Cadbury’s supply chain management.

Research Approach

The research approach is also another part of the research methodology. Through this, the research scholar will also be able to provide a successful result for the research project. The two different research approaches, such as inductive and deductive, are used for the research study. With the help of the inductive method, the research objectives and the questions will be identified.

Along with this, the theories for the research will also be used in this case. The deductive process is also used when the researcher will focus on the hypothesis within the research. However, in this study, the scholar would choose the inductive research approach as with this, the key issues related to the research objectives can be known (Alase, 2017). In this study, the scholar will be able to know the issues related to the supply chain management of Cadbury. The researcher will also be able to know the different ethical integrity that the company has to struggle to improve their supply chain management. The research scholar will be able to identify the key issues present in the supply chain management of Cadbury. On the other hand, through inductive, the scholar will be successful in providing better outcomes.

Research Design

It has also been noticed that the scholar also focused on the research design for the research study. Through the help of the descriptive research design, the scholar will be able to focus on the scientific method for observing the subject. It is also used for gathering knowledge and describing the behavior of the subject. This is done without influencing the subject’s actions.

Similarly, other designs are also used in this case. Exploratory research design is famous as through this; the priorities are focused (Meyers, Gamst and Guarino, 2016). Along with this, the operational definition issues are also needed to be focused on the betterment of the research study. This stresses the research statement that has not been solved or the problem that has not been considered before. The experimental design is also another one where the variables are considered, and their issues related to the subject are also considered. The research scholar of this study mainly focuses on the exploratory research design for this study as through this, the problem will be identified, and steps will be taken for overcoming the problems.

Research Strategy

There are three kinds of strategies that can be used in a research, which are qualitative, quantitative and mixed. In this research, qualitative strategy will be used. The reason for choosing this approach is that there is no scope for statistical analysis in this research as the subject is descriptive in nature. Furthermore, in this research only the secondary sources will be used, because such sources are easy to access and valuable information about the subject can be found in different secondary sources. Using secondary data will also assist in saving time and money. Furthermore, considering the inaccessibility and difficulties in approaching the employees and managers of Cadbury, secondary data will be appropriate for this research. Hence, the data will be collected from online sources such as journals, articles, books and websites among others. The collected data will be analyzed through narrative description and interpretations.


The accessibility is also needed to be maintained in the research study. The scholar needs to take data from those sources which are authentic. It is also needed to be concentrated that the scholar has a better amount of money through which they will be able to gain access to those journals that are needed for the research. The accessibility is also needed for gathering better information about the topic (Milligan et al., 2019). The scholar will also be able to maintain the quality of the paper after taking data from those sources that are of great value. Many sites are being difficult in gaining access; however, with the help of the aids, the scholar will also be able to get access to those sources. In this manner, the accessibility of the sources will also be increased, and the scholar will get better knowledge about the topic from such sites or journals.

Ethical Issues

While carrying on the research and collecting data from different sources, the researcher might face some issues related to research ethics. However, minor issues can be easily overcome. While collecting data from journals, articles, etc., the researcher should be careful of using recent resources, not more than five years old (Roberts, 2015).


Each of the researches has its significance, which is different from the other ones. Similarly, this research has some significance, where, with the help of the research, the researcher is trying to find out the answers to some questions related to the research topic. With more research on a particular topic, the researcher can make progress on it (Wareand Munafò, 2015). For any government organization or business organization like Cadbury, whenever an issue occurs, with rigorous research, they can find out the causes. At the same time, research helps find the probable mitigating techniques of the issues.

For this particular project, the issues are regarding the ethical factors of the supply chain of famous chocolate and similar products producing company, Cadbury. The supply chain of a multinational organization consists of several factors. Each of these factors needs to conduct its operations in the right manner. If any of the participants of the supply chain fails to maintain its operation, then there will be many issues in the supply chain of the organization. This will affect the business of the company and its profits and revenue as well (Popova et al., 2017). In the case of Cadbury, there had been ethical issues in the supply chain, which might be due to the breaking of rules or laws of the government. Following any unethical ways of conducting business or not maintaining the food-related laws can be the reason. This can be solved by the usage of proper measures and making the rules stricter in every step of the supply chain. The researcher can find other ways of solving the issues of the company and make the supply chain more effective.


With the help of this research, the scholar wants to deliver the answers to some questions directly related to the research topic. This research is based on the ethical issues, which the company Cadbury is facing regarding its supply chain. There are several reasons behind these ethical issues, and the reasons include different factors of the supply chain (Joyner, Paneth, and Ioannidis, 2016). The research will be conducted, and data will be collected to find out which of the factors of the supply chain are causing the issues. After that, those factors will be evaluated to find out why those issues are happening and how the factors are causing the issues. Once the issues, the reasons, and factors behind these issues are identified, the researcher will search for ways of mitigating them. Each of the factors will require different mitigation techniques, and with the right combination, the company will be able to find out the ways of rising above the problems related to its supply chain. However, while finding out the issues from different resources, the scholar should keep in mind to maintain the ethical values of research (Rogers, Pawlik and Shwom, 2015). This should be followed while collecting primary data from employees and managerial heads, and also during the data collection from secondary sources like books, journals, and articles.

Required Resources

To conduct the research, the scholar needs some resources. With the proper use of all the resources by combining them in the right manner, the scholar will be able to make the research fruitful. The scholar will require a specific amount of time to conduct the research and at the same time to carry on the tasks of the research (Polonsky and Waller, 2018).

Implementation Timetable

From the above Gantt chart, it can be understood that the research scholar has conducted the overall plan within the 13th week. Throughout the process, the scholar has collected different information from the literature sources. On the other hand, methods are also used for collecting the data and after analyzing the implementation is done in conclusion.


Alase, A., 2017. The interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA): A guide to a good qualitative research approach. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 5(2), pp.9-19.

Bailey, A.R., 2013. Regulating the supermarket in 1960s Britain: exploring the changing relationship of food manufacturers and retailers through the Cadbury archive. Business Archives, pp. 1-21.

BizClik Media Ltd, 2019. Cadbury owner Mondelez $3 billion supply chain saving. [Online] Available at:

Chatterjee, S. & Elias, J., 2007. An Ethical Company Struggles to Insure the Integrity of Its Supply Chain. Yale school of management, pp. 1-16.

D'Agostino, R., 2017. Goodness-of-fit-techniques. Routledge.

Ethical Corporation, 2019. Development – Cadbury invests in flaking supply chain. [Online] Available at:

Griek, L. & et. al., 2010. Bitter Harvest: Child Labour in the Cocoa Supply Chain. [Online] Available at:

Gulati, R., 2005. Cadbury. Business School, pp. 1-5.

Joyner, M.J., Paneth, N. and Ioannidis, J.P., 2016. What happens when underperforming big ideas in research become entrenched? Jama, 316(13), pp.1355-1356.

Kilonzo, G.M., 2012. Procurement Best Practices and Organizational Performance: Case Study Of Cadbury’s Kenya Limited. A Research Project Submited To The School Of Business For Partial Fulfillment Of The Degree Of Master Of Business Administration, pp. 1-70.

Mackey, A. and Gass, S.M., 2015. Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.

Meyers, L.S., Gamst, G. and Guarino, A.J., 2016. Applied multivariate research: Design and interpretation. Sage publications.

Milligan, M., Tew-Washburn, S., Doss, K.M. and Giambrone, J.P., 2019. Addressing Accessibility Issues in Institutional Review Board Policies. Disability Studies Quarterly, 39(1).

Polonsky, M.J. and Waller, D.S., 2018. Designing and managing a research project: A business student's guide. Sage publications.

Popova, O.B., Romanov, D.A., Loyko, V.I. and Evseeva, M.A., 2017. Methodical significance of activities research results. Sociological Studies, 3(3), pp.79-87.

Roberts, L.D., 2015. Ethical issues in conducting qualitative research in online communities. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 12(3), pp.314-325.

Rogers, P., Pawlik, L. and Shwom, B.L., 2015. The Role of Deliverables in Project Work.

Ruehle, R. & et. al., 2017. Bitter Sweet: Child labor in the chocolate industry - a clear case of double standards? Case Study, pp. 1-10.

Sackett, M., 2004. Forced Child Labor and Cocoa Production in West Africa. Research Digest: Human Rights And Contemporary Slavery, pp. 1-16.

Saunders, M.N., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. and Bristow, A., 2015. Understanding research philosophy and approaches to theory development.

Smith, B.G., 2007. Developing sustainable food supply chains. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, pp. 849-861.

Smith, N.C. & et. al., 2010. Marketing’s Consequences: Stakeholder Marketing and Supply Chain Corporate Social Responsibility Issues. Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 617-641.

Tate, W.L & et. al., 2010. Corporate Social Responsibility Reports: A Thematic Analysis Related To Supply Chain Management. Journal of Supply Chain Management, pp, 1-26.

Ware, J.J. and Munafò, M.R., 2015. Significance chasing in research practice: causes, consequences and possible solutions. Addiction, 110(1), pp.4-8.

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