Daily Archives: October 11, 2008

Times Stay Tough for the Oompa-Loompas

Well, it’s been over a quarter since we last checked in on the oompa-loompas, who were having a pretty bad year between massive layoffs at Cadbury and Hershey’s, salmonella contamination, chocolate covered ants in the Ferrero Rocher, child labour on the Ivory Coast, a chemical accident at the Blommer Chocolate factory, and lawsuits galore. (It should be no surprise that so many have turned to code-slinging in recent years!)

Are things ever going to look up?

It doesn’t look like it. A recent story in Fortune noted that price hikes are hammering Hershey’s profits to the point where it has had to raise prices by 11%. This could mean less sales for the manufacturer, who, being squeezed on both ends, might need to institute another round of layoffs to keep going. Then there was the recent finding of melamine in Cadbury chocolate, which I cannot fathom as being “legally acceptable” since melamine poisoning killed thousands of pets last year in the US and this year has killed over a dozen children in China while sickening over 54,000 others. This has forced Cadbury to recall Chinese-made candy, which is going to be another big hit to its bottom line. This is all bad news considering the World Cocoa Foundation has determined that approximately 50 Million people around the globe rely on chocolate for their livelihood.

Hopefully, things will improve with the one-two Halloween-Christmas punch that arrives in fourth quarter. If not, I guess there’s always coding.