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Cadburys was a much-loved company based on Quaker ideals but the Schweppes merger and Kraft takeover ended all that. A force for social good had embraced hard line corporate capitalism. Yet to blame its recent faux pas on uncaring capitalism is wrong. Big companies don’t knowingly damage their own images, it’s bad business.

So  a FLO’s claim: “Cadburys have willfully chosen not to engage with ANY heritage body” is unconvincing, it was surely the result of ignorance. (The Head of PAS seemed to confirm that: “Just to reassure you, Cadburys never spoke to about this idea!) So the question arises: why? Why, after 20 years of well-funded PAS outreaching, is anyone unaware that metal detecting without permission and without reporting is wrong and unlawful? Shouldn’t the debate be about that?

Furthermore, some have said: “as archaeologists it was our duty to take on Cadbury“. Indeed that’s true but doing so is only fire fighting, the root cause needs addressing. Why did Cadburys not know? Why doesn’t everyone know? Shouldn’t archaeologists ask the question: if Cadburys “don’t know” how many thousands of landowners don’t know?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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