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10 October 2012

The colour purple

The colour purple

The Meaningful Chocolate Company have been forced to change the colour of the box for their chocolate Christmas tree decorations because they have been advised that “Advent purple belongs to Cadbury”.

The Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations were sold last year to help parents share the Christmas story with children, packaged in a purple box containing the Christmas story and stickers to decorate five blank chocolate disks.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cotterell, advised the US-owned company to: “Relax, smile, eat a few squares of your chocolate - and don't be so precious over purple.

"Cadbury should reflect that before they even existed, the colour purple was around and – perish the thought – after they have gone, it will still be here.

“Funny though it is, I am reliably told that companies can, under some circumstances, own the rights to a colour and even the Church of England has a preferred shade of its own. But isn’t this a case where common sense might prevail? The Meaningful Chocolate Company is not a threat to Cadbury.”

Purple is the colour traditionally worn by the clergy during Advent, which is why the colour had been chosen to package the Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations, but nonetheless the company’s legal team have advised them to change the colour of their box.

David Marshall, from the Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: “We understand that anything that might be interpreted as purple needs to be avoided. For this reason we have changed the packaging of our religious Christmas Tree Decorations. This year Advent is a warm red.”

This won’t be the only way in which the Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations are different from Cadbury’s own decorations, David explains: “Our chocolate is Fairtrade, Cadbury’s is not. A charitable donation is made from every sale, Cadbury do not do this.

“We have Jesus, Mary and characters on the front of our box and a copy of the Christmas story inside, Cadbury have a mostly white box with a snowman on the front and secular tree decorations in a plastic cover.”

Last Easter the Meaningful Chocolate Company also introduced the Real Easter Egg, the only fairtrade charity egg ever to mention Jesus on the box.

Not only are their products fairtrade, but it is estimated that the Meaningful Chocolate Company will have raised £60,000 for charitable projects such as Traidcraft Exchange, which helps small-scale farmers and producers in the developing world trade their way out of poverty.

A spokesperson for Traidcraft said: “We’re delighted to be the sole stockist for the Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations.

“We believe consumers are wise enough to distinguish between what big business does and our better-than-fair approach to ethical trading.”