Honesty and Fairness
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To reflect on the principles of honesty and fairness that the Cadbury family showed in the manufacture and sale of their chocolate.
Preparation and materials
- You will need five volunteers.
- You will also need a bag of chocolate buttons, a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and two bars of Fairtrade chocolate.
Note: Please be aware of the school’s food allergy advice.
- Have available a copy of the Chocolate Fact File.
- Have available some images to illustrate the story in the ‘Assembly’, Step 5, and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples are available at: www.cadbury.co.uk/the-story
- Depending on how soon after Easter this assembly takes place, you may wish to begin with a reference to the amount of chocolate that you consumed over the holiday period.
- Inform the volunteers that they are going to play the chocolate button game. You will give each of them a single chocolate button. They are to put them on their tongues and close their mouths when you say, ‘Go’. They must keep the chocolate buttons there, without moving their tongues or chewing, until the chocolate has completely melted.
The winner of the game is the person whose chocolate button takes the longest time to melt.
Explain to the volunteers that you are unwilling to look inside their chocolate-filled mouths, so they must be honest and raise their hands when the chocolate button has completely melted.
Distribute the chocolate buttons and, when everyone is ready, say, ‘Go’.
- While the volunteers let the chocolate buttons melt in their mouths, use the Chocolate Fact File factsheet to share some facts about chocolate.
The children (except for the volunteers) must raise their hands if they believe a fact to be true. Continue reading out the facts until the winner of the chocolate button game is decided.
- Praise all of the volunteers for their honesty and reward the winner with the bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
Inform the children that, like the winner, the family that gave its name to this chocolate bar – and, moreover, the world’s joint-first, global, leading confectionery company – was also very honest.
- At relevant points, show the images that illustrate the following story.
The Cadbury’s manufacturing business was established by John Cadbury in 1831 in a small factory in Birmingham. He was the youngest son of a well-known Quaker family in the city. Quakers are religious people who believe that the best way that they can show their love for God is by helping to improve the lives of others.
John Cadbury made and sold drinking chocolate because he believed that it was better for people to drink chocolate than alcohol. He used a lot of the profits from his business to stop children being sent up chimneys and prevent cruelty to animals. When John retired, his sons, Richard and George, took over the business. They shared the same beliefs as their father, and George is famous for saying, ‘We can do nothing of any value to God, except in acts of genuine helpfulness done to our fellow men.’
As the company grew, George had a vision as to how the new site for the Cadbury factory should be. He and his brother shared this vision and chose not to build the factory in the city centre, but in what was then the countryside. George didn’t just build a factory, though: he also provided good houses with gardens for the workers, all on a site that they called Bournville. On that same site, he built a hospital, washrooms, reading rooms, a canteen, a dental surgery and a school where, even though he was their boss, he helped to teach his workers how to read and write.
Cadbury’s workers enjoyed rights that other workers could only dream of, such as bank holidays, Saturday afternoons off, a pension scheme and sporting facilities. George Cadbury once said, ‘Nearly all my money is invested in businesses in which I believe I can truly say that the first thought is of the welfare of the work people employed.’
George Cadbury was also concerned about the workers in other countries who grew and harvested the beans from which chocolate is made. He refused to buy cocoa beans from countries where slaves were made to do this work.
Time for reflection
Today, many people support Fairtrade products because they believe that all workers throughout the world should be treated well. Farmers who produce the cocoa beans in South America and Africa have been exploited by some manufacturers.
Show the children the Fairtrade symbol on the two remaining bars of chocolate.
Explain that people are becoming more aware of this exploitation and many want to do something about it by choosing to buy only Fairtrade chocolate.
Invite a volunteer to taste the Fairtrade chocolate.
Close by reflecting on how, when Fairtrade products are bought, both workers and consumers can benefit.
Help us to be fair and honest in everything that we do.
May our first thought not be about ourselves; let us be more concerned about the welfare of others.
We pray that companies across the world will treat their workers well.
We pray, too, for organizations that promote Fairtrade products.
May their efforts help to make your world a fairer place.
‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)