Deborah Cadbury - GRAB Guest Lecture

Posted on Friday 25th January 2013

On 17th January 2013, Deborah Cadbury attended Birmingham Business School as part of GRAB – the Great Read at Birmingham initiative – which this year centred around Deborah’s book Chocolate Wars.

Entitled “Chocolate and the Quaker capitalists: Britain's lost heritage”, Deborah’s talk examined the far reaching impact of Quaker capitalism with particular reference to the transformation of Cadbury in the mid-19th century from a loss making firm to the largest confectionary company in the world.

As part of the event, the Business School Twitter account launched the hashtag ‘#AskCadbury’ to receive questions from a wider audience that allowed followers to send in any questions for Deborah. Twitter user @UbaGLU asked “How does Deborah feel the Cadbury ethos has been impacted since the Kraft takeover? #AskCadbury

In response to this question, Deborah stated that it’s still too early to tell but that she worries about management and operations being moved overseas, which could create a barrier and a disconnect for staff who work in the UK operation.

“The jury is still out on Kraft - are they going to actually enhance the value of the Cadbury brand or are they going to extract value by squeezing implicit relationships?”

After the event, Deborah gave an insight into her talk and discussed how she felt about her book being chosen as this year’s Great Read at Birmingham.

Deborah discusses her talk and 'Chocolate Wars' being chosen for GRAB.

A University undergraduate talks about the GRAB initiative and her thoughts on the Deborah Cadbury guest lecture.

You may wish to attend the accompanying event taking place on Thursday 31st January: The Kraft – Cadbury Takeover: Does National Ownership Matter?

Find out more about the GRAB initiative.