I thought that maybe, just maybe, things would turn around for the oompa loompas, who had a very tough time last year, with the emergence of the biggest chocolate holiday of the year. But the truth of the situation is that all the news has been bad news since I last reported on their tough time last October.
All we have to do to see that their situation has not improved is take a stroll through the headlines from the past three months:
- Oct 05, 2008: Melamine in Cadbury Products
When we last checked in, trace amounts of melamine were found in Cadbury chocolate, but further investigation revealed that two products in particular had (dangerously) high levels of melamine.
- Nov 13, 2008: Kraft Foods to Shut Down Romanian Chocolate Factory
Kraft, recently caught up in a bribery scandal, announced that it is closing down its Brasov, Romania factory and terminating the roughly 440 oompa loompas who work at the location.
- Jan 02, 2009: Sydney Chocolate Factory Ravaged By Fire
The Meeks road, Marrickville location of Praline Choclates was gutted by a ravenous fire (video), putting more oompa loompas out of work, at least temporarily.
- Jan 28, 2009: Hershey Co. closing West Berkeley Scharffen Berger and San Francisco Joseph Schmidt Plants
The shutter of two more Hershey factories will put at least another 150 oompa loompas out of work.
- Feb 02, 2009: Massive Cocoa Spill on the I-79
A truck carrying 47,000 lbs of cocoa spilled across the I-79. Such a waste. Probably brought tears to the eyes of oompa loompas everywhere. Let’s just hope that the owner of the cocoa does not claim that this spill led to a steep rise in costs, an associated steep decline in profits, and use then use this as justification for even more oompa loompa layoffs.
- Feb 02, 2009: Private Selection Chocolate Products tainted with Salmonella
Kroger’s Private Selection and store brands don’t escape the recent salmonella discovery in peanut products and Private Selection Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Private Selection Chocolate Trios are recalled.
- Feb 04, 2009: Chocolate Stowaways at Mars Factory
Fifteen chocolate covered stowaways were arrested after they were found buried in more than 20 tons of cocoa power that was delivered to the Mars factory in Slough, Berkshire.
The continued plight of the oompa loompas is very unfortunate considering that recent studies have found that chocolate and wine improve memory. We should be rewarding them for their hard work, not cutting their jobs and ruining their reputations. So, on this Valentine’s Day, I urge you to think of the oompa loompa plight and buy an extra box of chocolates. They deserve a little love.