Cadbury Operations Case Study – 2000 words

                        Topic:  Research the operations function of Cadbury plc.



Cadbury plc is a UK company specialising in manufacturing of confectionary products, whose main focus is to become a world’s biggest confectionary manufacturer, as well as the world’s biggest company in confectionary products. Since 2003, Cadbury has focused on the transformation of its operation in confectionary business, which has won the company 10% of world market share in confectionary. It should be noted that, with the growth of worldwide confectionary markets, Cadbury has been able to increase the production of some of its products in the last five years. (Cadbury, 2008).

The objective of this report is to examine operations function of Cadbury plc for a major product line and the value chain that runs through this function.

The rest of the paper is structured as follows:

The paper identifies the key environmental factors affecting the operations management function Cadbury plc, and describes how the organisation is managing these.

The paper also provides views as to how Cadbury plc could improve its performance in responding to these environmental factors.

Operations function of Cadbury plc for a major product line and the value chain that runs through this function.


Cadbury plc was formed more than 200 years ago by teetotal Quakers in the Midlands of Britain: their religion disallowed alcohol but did allow chocolate. Cadbury is one of the leaders in the confectionary business that manufactures products such as chocolate, diary milk, candy brands, gum, and mints. Presently, Cadbury operates in 50 countries, which means the company is ranked second in the global confectionary business. The product range manufactured by Cadbury falls into three categories: chocolate, gum and candy.  One of the major parts of company business operation is to produce innovative products that can enhance market viability.  Thus, in Cadbury’s business operation, chocolate comprises 40% of the products manufactured by Cadbury, gum comprises 33%, while candy comprises 21% of Cadbury’s products.  In the production of chocolate, Cadbury’s largest brand is Cadbury Dairy Milk. With the growth of confectionary markets that are increasing by 5% per annum, despite the recession, brand loyalty has been one of the major strategies to achieve substantial percentage in market share. Thus, Cadbury has employed innovation in its business model, and the company has been able to build brand loyalty to enhance its products’ acceptance in order to build profitable markets for its products. Consequently, through innovation to improve the brands of its products, Cadbury has been able to improve its products with production of  several others such as Diary milk, cream eggs, Hollywood chewing gum, Ffakes, Green and Blacks, and other products such as Bournvita, Bazooka, and Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit etc. Presently, Cadbury manufacture more than 200 different kind of brand of products. (Cadbury, 2008, Cadbury, 2009).

The range of products manufactured by Cadbury has given the company 10.5% of market share in the global market. Typically, with the range of brand portfolio that the company has developed, Cadbury has been able to improve its value over the years. For example, the firm has been able to use innovative techniques to expand its products in the new emerging markets.  With gum being the most consolidated and fastest growing confectionary, Cadbury has been able to achieve No 2 position in the gum’s production by achieving 28.9% of market share.

In addition, Cadbury has also achieved No 1 global position, despite the proliferation of candy globally. It should be noted that Cadbury has developed a very strong market position in the UK, and strong regional strengths in India, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Typically, the position that Cadbury has achieved has made the company achieve strong market shares in many countries such as Spain, Turkey and France. Apart from Europe, Cadbury has also achieved strong market position in Japan, and Thailand.

Despite the strong position that Cadbury is achieving globally, there are key environmental factors affecting operations management function of Cadbury plc. (Cadbury, 2008).

Key environmental factors affecting the operation management function of Cadbury plc.


In the UK, environmental factors have become key in affecting company operations. Climate change, carbon emissions, acid rain and other environmental factors have become the key factors affecting the operations of many companies in the UK. Typically, the UK government has made it mandatory for all companies to reduce their carbon footprints in the production system. According to the Stern report, “climate change results from greenhouse-gas emissions associated with economic activities including energy, industry, transport and land use”. (HM Treasury, 2008, p 24). Thus, many environmental problems are been caused by climate change: for example, the greenhouse gases produced by climate change are some of the cause of some human health problems. (HM Treasury, 2008).

In addition, carbon emissions are caused by a series of combustion of fuels from industrial activities, and industrial emission is one of the largest causes of carbon emission. Typically, the effects of carbon emissions have been one of the major causes of  disease that damage brain and tissues because carbon emission diminishes the capacity of  blood to carry oxygen to certain key parts of the body such as tissues and the brain.( Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2007).

As a major manufacturing company that deals with confectionary products, several environmental factors affect the operations Cadbury plc. It should be noted that the UK government has passed several laws to ensue that all companies in the UK are environmentally friendly in order to secure environmental safety and quality. To ensure that all companies comply with these policies, the UK government passed Air Quality Regulations in 2007 to ensure tight control on the emission of carbon pollutants. With series of regulations to curb carbon emission, the UK government is committed to ensure that all companies abide by environmental regulations.

For example, the UK government passed The Environmental Protection Act In 1990. The purpose was to establish a mechanism by which there was minimisation of air pollution from industrial sectors. (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2007, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2009).

Consequently, with a series of regulations being passed by the government in order to reduce greenhouse gases caused by environmental factors, these environmental factors have affected the operation of Cadbury plc.

Thus, the management of Cadbury plc has adopted series of policies to manage the environmental factors in their operations.

Description of how Cadbury plc is managing these.

To be environmentally friendly and reduce carbon emissions, Cadbury has adopted series of policies in their operations in order to abide by government environmental policies. For instance, Cadbury has adopted a policy to cut carbon emissions by 50%. It should be noted that Cadbury plc operates in several countries and manufacture more than 200 brands of products. Thus, Cadbury has launched a policy called ‘Purple Goes Green’, (DT Research, 2000, p.1) in 2007. This has been the commitment of Cadbury to minimise the environmental footprint, and take significant action on climate change. Cadbury has also integrated policies in their management operations to enhance environmental issues in all their manufacturing, packaging and supply chain. (DT Research, 2000, Cadbury 2008).

The initiatives to manage environmental factors were made known by the Cadbury Chairman Roger Carr, who stated,

“We recognise our responsibility to help preserve the future of our planet while continuing

to create sustainable value for the business. We are determined to reduce the carbon

intensity of our global operations and use energy more efficiently as a key part of our

commitment to sustainable growth and to help combat climate change. Therefore in June

2007 we launched Purple Goes Green, our  environmental strategy which has received

much praise and aims to minimise the use of energy, packaging and water through

adopting absolute rather than relative targets”.( Cadbury 2008, p 55). 

The management of Cadbury has adopted a policy to ensure that the company has implemented “100% recoverable or biodegradable packaging” (Cadbury, 2008). This is to meet the company target on climate change and achieve sustainable development. Typically, Cadbury, being one of the leaders in the confectionary production, has decided to set a good example. In order to reduce carbon emissions, the company has aimed to ensure that all their packaging has been 60% biodegradable. Ireland, being one of the countries in which Cadbury is operating, is one market where Cadbury has adopted environmental design in all its products and most products contain 80% of recycled materials. As part of the “purple goes green” policy, the company has also launched “Eco Easter Eggs” that been claimeded to save 202 tonnes of plastic across the UK in 2008. (Cadbury, 2008).

Despite the efforts of Cadbury to adopt strategies to manage environmental factors in their operations, there are criticisms being levied on Cadbury in the operations of management function with regard to environmental factors.  For example, Cadbury has adopted  policies to manage environmental factor affecting its operations, and abides by environmental regulations in countries where the environment regulations are strict. For example, in the UK and the USA, Cadbury has ensured that it has abided with environmental regulations of these countries, and these were the major factors that led to the company to launch “purple goes green” in the case of the UK, and the USA.

However, Cadbury has not implemented the policy of managing their operations with regards to environmental issues in other countries where it operates. Thus, the company has only implemented “purple goes green” in the UK and the USA. (Cadbury, 2007).

With some of the setbacks that the Cadbury is facing in adopting the policies of environmental issues globally, this paper provides some recommendations on how Cadbury could improve its performances with regard to these environmental factors.

Views on how Cadbury could improve its performance in responding to the environmental factors.


With setbacks that Cadbury plc is facing in managing environmental issues, Cadbury will need to adopt several policies in managing the environmental issues in all the countrieswhere  the company is operating. For example, Cadbury should train its entire staff to be environmentally friendly in all its operations. Part of training given to staff should include how staff could promote the image of the company in order to enhance environmental sustainability.

Another recommendation is that Cadbury should adopt the policies of environmental issues in its operations in other countries where it is operating. It should be noted that Cadbury plc is a multinational company operating in over 60 Countries. Thus, “purple goes green” that has been implemented in the UK and the USA should also be implemented in other countries that the company is operating, if only to make good business sense to sell more product: going ‘green’ can be very profitable ultimately.


The paper discussed the operation function of Cadbury plc with reference to its major product line. The paper revealed that that Cadbury plc in its operation of its products has been able to produce more than 200 brands of products. It was shown that there are several environmental factors affecting the operations functions of Cadbury plc. Some of the environmental factors are carbon emissions, climate change and other climatic factors, and the company has taken several steps in managing these environmental factors. However, Cadbury is facing some setbacks in managing its environmental issues within its management operations. Consequently, this paper provided recommendations on how Cadbury could improve its performance in responding to these environmental issues.




















Lists of Reference

Cadbury, (2008). Cadbury Report & Accounts 2008, Cadbury plc. UK.


Cadbury, (2009). Our Brand, Retrieved 20 November 2009, from


Cadbury, (2007). Purple Goes Green, Cadbury plc, UK.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (2007). The Air Quality Strategy

for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland VOL 1, Scottish Executive, Welsh

Assembly Government and Department of the Environment Northern Ireland, UK.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (2009). Air Quality Strategy Vol 2,

Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government and Department of the

Environment Northern Ireland, UK.


DT Research, (2000). Cadbury Takes its ‘Purple Goes Green’ Campaign into the Field,

Reichert Communications, LLC, USA.


HM Treasury, (2008). STERN REVIEW: The Economics of Climate Change, The National

Archive, United Kingdom.