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Say It with Chocolate

The life of the Cadbury family

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To investigate the importance of turning our beliefs into actions.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Say It with Chocolate) and the means to display them.


  1. Ask the students to identify what the following things have in common.

    - Animals, Fingers and Signatures. (The answer is that they are all types of chocolate biscuit.)
    - Chomp, Boost and Picnic. (The answer is that they are all types of chocolate bar.)
    - Heroes and Roses. (The answer is that they are both types of chocolate variety boxes.)

    Ask the students whether any of them know what all of these things have in common. (The answer is that they are all types of chocolate products made by Cadbury.)

  2. Show Slide 1.

    Cadbury products come as chocolate bars, biscuits, drinks, desserts, ice cream and spreads.

  3. Show Slide 2.

    Explain that Cadbury products are made at the Cadbury’s factory in Bournville, near Birmingham.

  4. Show Slide 3.

    Every day, the factory produces more than:

    - one million Creme Eggs
    - five million bars of chocolate

  5. Show Slide 4.

    Read out the statistic: more than 250,000 Cadburys chocolate buttons are made every minute!

    Ask the students the following questions.

    - How many would that be in an hour? (The answer is 15 million.)
    - How many would that be in a day? (The answer is 400 million.)

  6. Point out that, as the slides state, there are many ways to ‘say it with chocolate’!

    Ask the students, ‘What do these words mean, though: “say it with chocolate”?

  7. Explain that you don’t intend to embarrass anyone here, but there could be some people who have received chocolates recently, especially with it being February, the month of Valentine’s Day!

    At this time of year, many people give chocolates to show their love. Like Valentines Day cards or flowers, chocolates are another way of showing that you care for someone.

    Of course, on its own, the act of giving chocolates is not enough to show someone that we care; we need to show this by our actions and words, too. Otherwise, giving chocolates will just leave us out of pocket

  8. During the nineteenth century, the Cadbury family showed by their actions what they really believed. As prominent members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, they believed strongly in values such as integrity, equality, simplicity, community, stewardship and peace. They believed that each person was unique and of equal worth in God’s eyes and they opposed anything that might harm or threaten people.

    Let’s find out whether their actions confirmed their beliefs, by looking at the Cadbury familys chocolate-making business.

  9. If hed had the chance, Lord Sugar of The Apprentice might well have seen the potential of John Cadbury and made him his apprentice. Here are some reasons why.

    In 1824, when he was 22, John Cadbury added a new product to his small tea and coffee shop business in Birmingham and started to sell cocoa and drinking chocolate. As the business grew, he went on to open a factory, which he ran with his brother.

    When John became ill, his two sons, who by this time were in their early twenties, took over. The first five years were very difficult, with long hours of hard work, few customers and little money. However, they survived and began to prosper, buying a machine from Holland which extracted the cocoa butter from the chocolate. This enabled the brothers to produce a more palatable product called Cadbury Cocoa Essence, which they advertised as ‘Absolutely Pure - Therefore Best’.

    Later, the brothers moved their cocoa and chocolate factory from London to a greenfield site near Birmingham to allow for expansion.
    Loyal and hardworking workers were treated with respect, paid decent wages and provided with good working conditions. The company also pioneered pension schemes, work committees and medical service to all staff.

    By 1900, the Cadbury estate included 313 cottages and houses for the workers, all with modern interiors and gardens. The grounds also included parks and recreation areas so that the workers had access to health and fitness options free of charge. Later, schools, a swimming pool, a reading room and a hospital would be built on the estate.

    This emphasis on treating workers with respect was carried into campaigns for justice. The Cadbury family was the first organization to stand against the slave trade.

Time for reflection

Ask the students to imagine being a Cadbury’s employee in the early twentieth century. What would be their opinion of their employer?

Optional: you may wish to ask students to discuss this or pause to allow some time for thought.

Suggest to the students that they think about this assembly next time they are eating chocolate. Encourage them to use eating chocolate as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to treat others with fairness and respect.

Dear God,
Help us to treat others with dignity and respect.
Help us to put our words into action.
Please help us to act on what we believe.
Help us to show kindness and care to others.

Publication date: February 2020   (Vol.22 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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