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History of Cadbury Chocolate

In this assignment the commodity is seen as the ‘cell’ of the economy and the commodity chain is its ‘DNA’. Tracing a commodity through its chain thus helps us to understand all sorts of social, cultural and economic processes that link the global economy, including local sites of production and consumption across the world. In conceptual terms, this is ‘defetishising the commodity’, that is, unveiling the processes and geographies behind its production, exchange, marketing and consumption. Beginning with a commodity consumed in Sydney, this assignment asks you to trace its global chain - its sites of production and consumption. The assignment takes the form a structured, analytical essay that ‘follows the thing’ (see Cook et al. 2007 for how to ‘follow the thing’).

The brief:

Choose one typical ‘Australian’ commodity consumed in Sydney (some examples include Cadbury chocolate bars, Bonds underwear, Uggboots, and Heinz tomato sauce, but you can choose another commodity).

Conduct ‘geographical detective work’ (Cook et al. 2007) about where the commodity is made, what elements go into its production, and how it is marketed and consumed in Sydney and/or Australia. Explore, compare and analyse the economic and labour conditions at the commodity’s sites of production and consumption. Your analysis is founded on the idea of ‘defetishising the commodity’ and aims to explain what such a study reveals about global economic processes and uneven development. It should show the ways in which we are connected with others through consumption and different kinds of markets.

The analytical essay takes a structured format, following these five sections:

1. What product have you chosen? You then need to explain the conceptual framework for ‘following the things’, which is to defetishise the commodity. What does ‘com- modity fetishism’ mean, what is the aim of defetishising, and what do we learn from ‘following the things’?

2. Who owns the commodity? Where is the company headquartered (which addresses its ownership)? Is the company economically successful? What are the conditions of economic develop- ment in that country?

3.Starting with the site of consumption (Sydney), trace the different sites of production for the commodity. These may include sites of resource extraction, manufacture, design and/or assembly. Each site, from production to consumption, is a ‘link’ in the chain. You might like to use a map. What roles and/or processes are involved at each link, including the site of consumption (e.g. transport, marketing, retailing, etc)? How are different points in the chain connected? What kind of relationships are established through these connections?

4. Economic and labour conditions at the sites of production and consumption (c. 400 words): This is a really important part of the analysis. Describe the economic and labour conditions at the sites of production and consump- tion. At the sites of production: Who is employed in producing the product; what are their working conditions; what is the economic standing of the region or country; have there been labour disputes? At the site of consumption: Who consumes the product; how is it marketed; how is it retailed; what is the economic standing of Sydney/Australia? Then, crucially, compare economic and labour conditions at the sites of production vis-à-vis the site of consumption.

History of Cadbury Chocolate

When Cadbury Company in England amalgamated with J.S. Fry in the year 1919, the large company which resulted sought to inflate internationally and settled at the decision of building its new factory in Australia where it had perceived an important market from the time it started trading Cadburys overseas (Chatterjee & Elias, 2016). Production of Cadbury chocolates starts at Singapore cocoa factories where the cocoa beans of  top quality are processed to yield a cocoa mass containing approximately 53% of cocoa and cocoa butter. This mass is what is taken to chocolate factories in Victoria or Tasmania. The second ingredient which is fresh cream milk is also collected and condensed before being transported to the factory. Sugar is then added to the already condensed milk with cocoa mass to come up with a creamy chocolate fluid, which is evaporated to obtain a milk chocolate crumb. Because these ingredients are prepared together, the rich creamy taste of Cadbury chocolates is realized.

Finally, the crumb is then taken through a pin mill to be mixed with cocoa butter and cocoa liquor as well as the chocolate flavor. We practice commodity fetishise when we give products a life of their own as if they exist independently (Vijayan & Kamarulzaman, 2017). The main aim of defetishising products is to enable the consumers to get to know the underlying procedures and processes which are followed before the product can reach its final form. This helps in appreciating the cost of products (Cook, Evans, Griffiths, Morris &Wrathmell, 2007).

Cadbury Chocolate Factory is the main chocolate factory in Australia which is owned by Australian division of international confectionery company Cadbury and which is based in Claremont, Tasmania. The company has its history from the amalgamation of Cadbury Company in England with J.S. Fry in the year 1919. The large company which resulted sought to inflate internationally and settled at the decision of building its new factory in Australia where it had perceived an important market from the time it started trading Cadburys overseas. The Claremont, Tasmania site was chosen because of its location and which was ideal because it’s close proximity to Hobart city, inexpensive hydro-electricity power and the plentiful supply of high-quality fresh milk in the surrounding areas (Jia, Wang, Mustafee & Hao, 2016).

The process of production followed until Cadbury chocolate bars are realized in the factory can be represented by a simple flow chart shown below.

Ingredients Used in Cadbury Chocolate Production

At its final stage of supply chain, Cadbury products change ownership from its producer to consumer while financial flow (money) take the opposite route, from consumer to the producer in a domino fashion through the four supply chain cycles. Therefore, double causality that links farmers to consumers is arbitrated by these two causalities while its movement and that of money is facilitated by “pulls” and “pushes”. The preceding step is that of marketing the product. It is done in two ways, through digital advertising media and traditional advertising media (Vijayan & Kamarulzaman, 2017).

Before the advertising step of its supply chain, the product is undertaken through a tertiary production which involves the transport companies, both delivery trucks and ships. Cadbury’s Central Distribution Center at this juncture distributes its chocolate bar through direct store delivery (DSD). The preceding step is the assembly of raw materials which are used in making the chocolate. At the factory, fresh cream milk, cocoa mass and sugar ingredients are mixed to make a creamy chocolate fluid which is evaporated to make chocolate crumb. Both the cocoa mass and the cocoa butter are produced, examined and shipped to the factory where they make chocolate bars (Vijayan & Kamarulzaman, 2017).

The preceding step is the secondary production and which basically entails the manufacture of cocoa mass. After the exportation of the beans by sea to cocoa factory in Singapore, they are processed into cocoa mass and then repacked in sacks for transportation. They are then taken through quality inspection before being shipped to the processing factory to obtain cocoa mass. There are different processes which are involved in this step which includes, winnowing- dried beans are cracked and then a stream of air used to separate shells from the nib, roasting- where nibs are taken through special ovens under temperature range of 105-120 degrees, grinding- where the roasted nibs are grounded in stone mills until they are reduced into thick chocolate liquid by the friction (Gibson, Cameron & Healy, 2013). The last process is pressing and which entails the cocoa mass being pressed inside a powerful machine to extract cocoa butter.

Prior to this step, is the process of raw material extraction entailing sourcing its milk from areas with favorable climatic conditions for dairy farming activities. Sugar which is also an important ingredient is also sourced from the suppliers operating within Australia. Lastly, the very first step in chocolate supply chain begins at the cocoa tree. Cadbury gets its cocoa beans from Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia. Cocoa pulp clinging on the beans matures and becomes a liquid which drains away to allow the true flavor of chocolate to develop. The wet mass of beans is dried in the sun or by the use of special drying equipments (Jia, Wang, Mustafee & Hao, 2016).

The Process of Cadbury Chocolate Production

Below is a supply chain distribution map of Cadbury chocolate right from the outsourcing of cocoa in different countries like Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia to its processing in Tasmania and then its distribution to the final consumers.  

There are different employees who are necessary in the production of chocolate. To start with and in consideration to the fact that the production of this product is highly mechanized, manufacturing engineers are crucial employees whose role is to participate and leading the cross functional teams which comprise of machinists and operators of different machines to ensure that all the processes are accomplished as per the expectations.

Production workers are also very important in the production of this product because it must meet some specifications which are necessary as per the health and act of the country (Jia, Wang, Mustafee & Hao, 2016). This is achieved through balancing the ingredients involved in the production like the sugar and ensuring that the necessary conditions of the production process are adhered to. So these specialists take part in these and other associated roles during the production process of this product.

Packaging specialists are also demanded in the production process because the product is demanded in different quantities at the market place (Jia, Wang, Mustafee & Hao, 2016). The goods must also be packaged with the necessary precautions in place to avoid it being contaminated and which may result into bad reputation on the side of the company name. Also, the quantities must be taken into consideration to avoid future complaints from consumers regarding low quantities or company losses as a result of high quantities being sold under low quantity labels.

Plant operators are also very important in the production process to ensure that processes which require machines are accomplished effectively. Such processes include: winnowing- where dried beans are cracked and then a stream of air used to separate shells from the nib, roasting- where nibs are taken through special ovens under temperature range of 105-120 degrees, grinding- where the roasted nibs are grounded in stone mills until they are reduced into thick chocolate liquid by the help of friction and pressing which entails the cocoa mass being pressed inside a powerful machine to extract cocoa butter (Jia, Wang, Mustafee & Hao, 2016).

The connections involved in the supply chain of this commodity establish three kinds of relationships: Vertical, Horizontal and Full collaboration relationships. It displays vertical relationship because it has traditional links between other firms in its supply chain taking the roles of retailers, distributors, manufacturers and raw material suppliers as it can be seen from its relationship with the Singapore factory and the cocoa farmers in Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia (Vijayan & Kamarulzaman, 2017). When considering its Horizontal relationship, it is clear that the factory has business arrangements with other firms occupying parallel positions in the supply chain such as the sharing of the transportation cost of importing cocoa from different producers. Because it displays both vertical and horizontal relationships, then it definitely qualifies under the category of Full Collaboration.

The Supply Chain Distribution of Cadbury Chocolate

The marketing of this product is done in two ways, through digital advertising media and traditional advertising media, because the product markets are both locally and internationally. Comparing the economic conditions between the production sites and consumption sites of this product indicate a great difference (Vijayan & Kamarulzaman, 2017). This is because the commodity must be produced where there is easy accessibility of its ingredients while the consumption site can be any place provided the consumers are willing to purchase.

From my analysis on following the thing (Cook, 2007), it is clear that economic processes are quite detailed and demanding compared to how they are perceived in the general view. For a product to reach its final stage of consumption, it undergoes a lot of processes despite of what we perceive as just a matter of hours to realize the final product (Cook et al 2004). For instance, the case of Cadbury chocolate has indicated that different ingredients are sourced from different areas with some of the sources being overseas like the cocoa which is obtained from Ghana, Malaysia or Indonesia while milk is obtained from different areas within Australia. It is through globalization that some of these economic processes are possible because if it were not for globalization, Cadbury chocolate could be history. This is because its ingredients can’t be traced within the same country like cocoa and must be imported, courtesy of globalization.

References

Chatterjee, S., & Elias, J. (2016). Cadbury: An Ethical Company Struggles to Insure the Integrity of Its Supply Chain. SAGE.

Cook, I. et al (2004) Follow the thing: papaya, Antipode, 36(4), pp. 642-664. 
Cook, I., Evans, J., Griffiths, H., Mayblin, L., Payne, R., Roberts, D. (2007) Made in...? Appreciating the ev- eryday geographies of connected lives, Teaching Geography (Summer), pp. 80-83. 
Coe, N., Kelly, P., and Yeung, H. (2007) Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction, Blackwell, Mal- don MA, Uneven Development ,pp.59-86. 
Cook,I., Harrison, M. (2007) Follow the thing: West Indian hot pepper sauce, Space and Culture, 10(1): 40-63. 
Cook,I., Evans, J., Griffiths, H., Morris, R., Wrathmell, S. (2007) It’s more than just what it is: defetishising commodities, expanding fields, mobilising change. . . , Geoforum, 38(6): 1113-1126. 
J.K. Gibson-Graham, Cameron, J. and Healy, S. (2013) Take Back the Economy, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Chapter 4: Take Back the Market, pp. 85-123,

Jia, F., Wang, X., Mustafee, N., & Hao, L. (2016). Investigating the feasibility of supply chain- centric business models in 3D chocolate printing: A simulation study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 102, 202-213.

Vijayan, G., & Kamarulzaman, N. H. (2017). An Introduction to Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Business Implications. In Green Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Business Practice (pp. 27-50). IGI Global

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