Joseph Rowntree made chocolate. Very nice chocolate. And Fruit Pastilles. Which are fabulous, fabulous things (so long as you're not too partial to your teeth).
He was also a very nice chap. A Quaker, he did more in the nineteenth century to single-handedly improve the lives of poor inner city workers than almost all his contemporaries. (Strangely, there’s a lot of this sort of thing about in retail – have a look at the history of the John Lewis Partnership if you don’t believe me).
Putting aside the fact that Rowntree’s was shamefully sold to the Swiss baby-milk-pushers Nestle a few years back, Joseph’s legacy is still very much upheld by several foundations that bear his name. One of which was in today’s Guardian for having done the following:
‘The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has sold its £2m stake in Reed Elsevier because of concerns the publishing firm is stepping up its involvement in arms fairs writes Katie Allen. Susan Seymour, chair of the trust's investment committee said it had; 'become apparent that the company not only has interests in the arms trade, which is deeply unethical and irredeemably corrupt, but that these are rapidly expanding.'
The reason I mention this is because I quite like the irony that rival chocolate maker Cadbury has also been in the press AGAIN. This time, it wasn’t for it’s devil-may-care attitude towards anaphylactic shock (the mislabelling of nut-containing chocolate having caused mild disconcertion in the allergy-suffering fraternity recently). Nope – this time, we’re going back to last year’s legendary contamination story.
Otherwise known as the “Mum, why is there shit in my Buttons?" scandal.
‘Confectionery giant Cadbury is set to be prosecuted under environmental health laws over last year's food scare involving chocolate contaminated with salmonella. The national health alert made dozens of people ill and cost the company £30m in lost revenue.’