CHOCOLATE Easter eggs are still on the menu for the National Trust after an effort to force the charity to sever its link with Cadbury was blocked at its Swindon AGM.

Environment campaigners brought the motion concerned about the link between Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez, and its use of unsustainable palm oil – often farmed in areas of cleared rainforest.

Cadbury funds the National Trust’s Easter trails nationwide, including at Wiltshire properties like Lacock and Avebury.

Concerned mums

The resolution had been brought by two Cambridge mums, Suzanne Morris and Rosanna Bienzobas, concerned about the impact of palm oil on the environment.

They said in their resolution: “The National Trust was born of a desire to protect the elements of our environment that people value. We believe that the partnership between the National Trust and Cadbury is in contravention of these aims and are therefore submitting a resolution to cease this partnership with immediate effect.

“Cadbury chocolate is made with unsustainable palm oil. It is owned by Mondelez, a company which Greenpeace International have shown continues to source palm oil from rainforest destroyers despite its stated commitment to responsible sourcing.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Heelis, the National Trust's headquarters in Swindon

Resolution rejected

Today, the Trust's annual general meeting was held at the Steam Museum in Swindon. 

The resolution calling for an end of the Cadbury link was rejected by 20,395 votes to 12,752.

National Trust reaction to vote

A spokesman said: "National Trust members at this year’s annual general meeting voted against a resolution to immediately end our partnership with Cadbury.

“This means hundreds of thousands of people can continue enjoying our Easter trails, where they enjoy family time outdoors while helping us to look after some of the nation’s most special places. Cadbury has been an important partner for 12 years, and has financially supported us as well as helped develop our Easter trails into the huge success we see today.

“However, our trustees have been keen to share members’ concerns to Cadbury so it has the opportunity to address them while we continue our own review and test the market for new suppliers for a refreshed Easter seasonal offer once our contract ends in 2021.

“We have received reasonable reassurances that it is mitigating its environmental impact and Cadbury has told us: it is striving for 100% sustainability and transparency in palm oil production; working with global suppliers to ensure palm oil is sustainably sourced; developing a palm oil action plan highlighting its expectations of suppliers; prioritising suppliers that meet its expectations; and working with a number of worldwide groups to drive positive change across the entire palm oil sector.

“We are pleased members have had the opportunity to debate this is."