The National Trust ends Cadbury partnership after 13 years

The charity says it has decided to make chocolate less of a focus for its Easter activities

Cadbury Egg Hunt
Cadbury Egg Hunt

The National Trust has mutually agreed to end a £7m annual Easter partnership with Cadbury that has drawn criticism from politicians and the Church of England. 

The relationship between the chocolate firm and the conservation charity has lasted 13 years, but will end after Easter this year.

The National Trust said it had decided to make chocolate less of a focus for its Easter activities, and would instead increase its emphasis on nature and the outdoors.

In 2017, the partnership was criticised by the Church of England after the charity dropped the word “Easter” from its annual egg trail, renaming it the Cadbury Egg Hunt.

The Prime Minister at the time, Theresa May, branded the removal of Easter from the egg hunt as “ridiculous”, and the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said at the time that he was “upset” the charity allowed Cadbury to take over the name of the event.

The charity repeatedly denied at the time that it was airbrushing Easter from the promotion.

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “We have enjoyed 13 years in partnership with Cadbury, which has helped make our Easter trails such a success and has encouraged hundreds of thousands of families to enjoy the outdoors at our places. 

“However, now is the time for change as we look to increase our emphasis on nature and the outdoors. To reflect that in our Easter activities, from next year we will be making chocolate less of a focus.

“For this reason, it is the right time for us to end a partnership associated so uniquely with chocolate. We'd like to thank Cadbury for its support over the past 13 years."

A Cadbury spokesman confirmed the end of the partnership after 13 years was “mutual” and said this year’s egg trail would not be affected.

“We’d like to thank the National Trust for its partnership over this period, which has helped make the Easter Egg Trails such a success and has encouraged millions of people to enjoy the outdoors.

“The time is right for both sides to move on as we look for ways to bring Easter trails to more families across the UK, bringing joy to even more consumers at this special time of year. 

“Cadbury will continue to celebrate great family moments and work with great partners such as the National Trust. For now we’re working to make sure that this year’s Easter Egg Trails are the best ever.”

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