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Chocolate spread over
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Chocolate spread over

May 2010

Through Cadbury we take a look at the issues surrounding the increasingly globalised ownership of big businesses

Chocolate spread over

The takeover of UK chocolate maker Cadbury by US food giant Kraft was announced in January 2010. Ending months of speculation, the decision was greeted with dismay by workers at Cadbury factories in the UK. Corporate mergers and acquisitions of this nature often result in a process called rationalisation where operations are streamlined, with jobs nearly always shed in the process. Of wider concern is the fact that Cadbury represents nearly 200 years of British tradition. As children, most UK citizens enjoy Cadbury products. As adults, many worry that ownership of such a key British player can transfer so easily into foreign hands.

In our in-depth analysis of Cadbury, we take a look at the issues surrounding the increasingly globalised ownership of big businesses.

More widely, this case study asks why some countries have rules to prevent foreign acquisition of their firms while others do not. We also analyse the geography of chocolate production and the wider workplace ethics of this global business.


  • KS3 exploration of interdependence between people and places – and thinking critically about what makes a firm “foreign” and what makes it “British”
  • GCSE teaching of transnational corporations
  • AS / A2 / IB teaching of trade and globalisation (AQA), global interactions (IB) and how transnational corporations build their global businesses (Edexcel)

In the Members' Area:

  • Building a bigger global business: Kraft chews up Cadbury
  • Should the UK allow its own TNCs to be taken over by foreign firms?
  • The global geography of chocolate
  • Homework assignment (for IB and A-level courses)
  • Practice question and mark scheme
  • KS3 overview

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