City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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We are dedicated to exploring how to live a greener and more ethical life. City Hippy is a growing collective of writers bringing you two types of content:

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Friday, January 27, 2006

INTERVIEW: Craig Sams (part 3)

Things are starting to get really interesting now and in this installment, the third ( 1 2 ) of our Craig Sams interview series, we find out what Craig thinks about the Green & Blacks sale to Cadbury's and why despite critical mutterings he sees the move as a positive, even essential, step for the company and its ethical platform.

CityHippy: Craig. Some people think Cadbury's did not deserve your hard-earned Green & Blacks green credentials, that you were wrong to sell to them. Why did you sell, why to them and why was it the right thing to do?

Craig Sams: There was no way we could have taken Green & Blacks to the global status that it deserved. We’d already sold shares to William Kendall’s group of investors and managers back in 1999 and they’d shown that, with professional management and plenty of capital to resource the growth of the business, it was possible to take Green & Blacks to a whole new level of operation. But even they couldn’t have taken the next steps and, if Cadbury’s hadn’t started helping our producers to expand their production of organic cocoa beans back in 2003 we would have run out of raw materials by now.

Fascinating. So many questions raised by this.

Can companies, perceived as evil, change or be changed? I say yes.

Does the sale of an ethical business to a mainstream non-ethical business make the ethical business any less ethical? I say no.

Does the existence of sites like ethiscore (and seecompanies) represent a shift from focusing on products that are Fairtrade to examining companies as a whole? I say yes.

What do you say?

Join us for part four when Craig explains why only one product from the Green & Black's stable was ever Fairtrade certified. Fascinating stuff. Stay tuned.



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