Locals have expressed frustration at the lack of a chocolate stall at last week’s annual Bournville Village festival with some claiming that Mondelez, Cadbury’s owners, “do not care about the Bournville community.”
A stall selling discounted Cadbury chocolate and staffed by workers from the factory has been a regular feature at the festival over the years.
This year the stall was listed in the festival programme but didn’t make an appearance. However, a spokesperson for Mondelez said the stall may return next year.
On the bournvillevillage.com Facebook account there was surprise at the absence of the stall.
“Yes was disappointed and heard a lot of people complaining and say that was one of the main reasons for going” – Tracey
“Was very disappointed this year with Bournville festival yes with the chocolate tent not there was a huge hole in the festival.” – Paul R
“We looked for the chocolate tent and were very disappointed that it wasn’t there” – Louise
“Looks like Cadbury (Kraft) are starting to distance themselves from the local community. Sad day” – Paul B
“A lot of people including ourselves very disappointed the chocolate stall not there” – Veronica
The organisers of the festival, Bournville Village Council, said that the stall is run by volunteers from Cadbury and the decision not to participate happened at the last minute.
This year one of those involved retired and the “others tried to be allowed to do it”. When pressed further on what stopped them from participating, the Village Council declined to comment. They made clear that the stall was not connected directly to Mondelez.
Mondelez said: “The tent was the personal responsibility of the team who looked after our staff shop on site and was a way of raising funds for their particular charities. In the last few weeks, a new team has taken over responsibility for running the shop and their focus was on the Staff Shop itself. I’m told that there’s no reason why the tent can’t return for next year’s Festival.”
The festival saw 15 year old Taylor Morris crowned as the Festival Queen and included local children in traditional maypole dances. The event finished with a firework display.