Ethical business practices
A Cadbury Schweppes case study

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Page 2: Ethics at work

The supply chain and distribution process

This describes the way in which raw materials are sourced and transformed into final products and delivered to customers. Cadbury Schweppes has direct control over what happens in the transformation stage of its own process and can also influence the behaviour of suppliers and distributors. For example, it performs due diligence on potential suppliers by requesting them to complete a questionnaire prior to engagement.

This enables Cadbury Schweppes to monitor a supplier and check they adhere to stringent standards in particular criteria. One criteria, for example, may be the environment and the questionnaire allows the supplier to express whether they carry out audits or have an environmental policy.


a) Dealing with suppliers

Cadbury Schweppes deals with tens of thousands of suppliers around the world and aims to work closely with them to ensure they receive fair treatment.

In the case of cocoa farmers for example, Cadbury Schweppes is a member of a global coalition, which is comprised of industry, governments, non-government organisations and special interest groups created to improve working practices on cocoa farms. The coalition has funded independent surveys into cocoa farming in West Africa that have contributed to the development of programmes to help local communities. In 2003, the coalition also established a foundation, the International Cocoa Initiative - Working Towards Responsible Standards for Cocoa Growing, which aims to support field projects and will act as a clearinghouse for best practices to ensure that cocoa is grown responsibly.

The work of the coalition, however, is only one way to support cocoa farmers and their families. Another practice is Fair Trade. Under this scheme cocoa is paid for at a fixed minimum price with a premium going to the farmer co-operatives in exchange for using the Fair Trade logo and accreditation. Presently, a modest amount of cocoa goes to the Fair Trade market. This scheme works best when farms have access to communications and warehousing facilities. Many farms, however, are family owned operations in remote areas and access to a Fair Trade co-operative group may be difficult so the coalition is working to ensure these farms can benefit from the work that it does.

It is Cadbury Schweppes aim to help all cocoa farmers improve their standard of living by helping them develop sustainable crops of quality beans. In Ghana, for example, where Cadbury Schweppes buys most of its cocoa, the company supports farming communities through programmes on sustainable tree crop management and building wells for drinking water.

b) Manufacturing

As a major international company Cadbury Schweppes recognises its environmental responsibilities and the need to care for its workforce, local communities and all those who may be affected by its activities. For example, its environmental responsibilities include:

  • treating waste water prior to disposal
  • looking to improve its energy efficiency
  • controlling the release of gases into the atmosphere.

c) Distribution - to wholesalers and retailers

The company aims to keep within acceptable limits the fuel consumption and air emissions that result from transporting its products. In the UK, for example, drivers are trained in the most efficient ways to operate their vehicles, which are also regularly maintained to keep them running at optimum efficiency.

d) Dealings with consumers

Cadbury Schweppes is committed to providing a range of high quality treats, refreshments and confectionery based oral care products which are marketed truthfully, labelled clearly and meet the highest safety standards.

For that reason the Cadbury Schweppes corporate social responsibility agenda now reflects growing consumer interest in issues of diet, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, and the way brands are marketed, especially to children.

The company also believes it is important to be open about its activities so its stakeholders can measure its success. Information is readily available in its reports and on its website regarding its progress in:

  • community initiatives and employee volunteering
  • environmental impact.

Cadbury Schweppes | Ethical business practices