Chocolate In Chin The Cadbury Experience

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Australian Geographer
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L.J. Wood & S. Grosvenor



University of Tasmania, Australia
Published online: 24 Feb 2007.
To cite this article: L.J. Wood & S. Grosvenor (1997) Chocolate in China: the cadbury experience, Australian Geographer, 28:2, 173-184
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Chocolate in China: the Cadbury experience

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L.J. W O O D & S. GROSVENOR, University of Tasmania,


ABSTRACT Since 1979, China's Open Door policy has attracted increasing foreign investment. To maintain global competitiveness, the British confectioner, Cadbury, authorised its
Australian subsidiary to develop a chocolate plant in China. This paper details the decisionmaking processes that eventually led to a new factory on a greenfield site near Beijing. It also illustrates some of the adaptations that Cadbury has had to make in its product and production procedures in order to match its own standards for dairy milk chocolate and yet accommodate guo qing (the special situation in China).
KEY WORDS China; chocolate manufacture; globalisation/localisation; joint venture; human resource management; guo qing.

In recent decades, the growth of the international agro-food system has become marked
(for a review, see Whatmore 1995). Consequences include substantial and ongoing reshaping of food production and consumption in many parts of the world. To a significant degree, reshaping reflects the actions of large business enterprises using a range of strategies to extend operations into 'new' territory in the continuing search for capital accumulation. 'New' territory in this context can mean achieving different sales in established markets or, more literally, penetrating previously untouched markets.
Increasingly for Australian firms, such comments imply an extension of involvement with East Asian economies. The rapid economic growth of these markets is widely reported (see, for example, Schwab & Smadja 1994). In Australia, a string of official reports has advocated closer ties with Asian, particularly East Asian, economies as the best course