Cadbury Dairy Milk 200 years

Cadbury has held a warrant to supply chocolate to the Royal Family since the 1850s

King Charles has been urged to strip the royal warrants of fmcg giants including Unilever, Nestlé and Cadbury-owner Mondelez over their links to Russia.

A prominent Ukrainian campaign group told the King, who has been vocal in his support of Ukraine since the invasion, to revoke the coveted titles of companies who still maintain operations in Russia.

B4Ukraine named consumer goods behemoths such as Marmite and Dove-owner Unilever, spirits maker Bacardi, confectionery giant Mondelez among the companies that were “indirectly contributing” to the Russian war by continuing to operate and pay taxes to the Kremlin.

“The continued presence and financial support of these companies in Russia only serves to prolong the brutal war against Ukraine”, campaigners wrote in their letter to the King, first seen by The Telegraph.

“We urge the Royal Family to stand in solidarity with Ukraine by demonstrating that companies contributing to the suffering and devastation in Ukraine will not be bestowed with the privilege and honour of holding a royal warrant.

“Such a decisive step would not only demonstrate the solidarity of the Royal Family with Ukraine but also convey that the Family does not condone the continued presence of these companies in Russia.”

The coveted royal warrants are usually given out to businesses that supply the royal family with some of their favourite goods and services.

Martini-maker Bacardi still holds a warrant from the late Queen Elizabeth II with vermouth. Cadbury has held a warrant to supply chocolate since the mid-1800s, whilst Unilever and Nestle both hold general warrants for food and household goods.

The warrants can be revoked as the Royal household is currently reviewing their status, with a decision on which companies retain theirs to come later in the year.

B4Ukraine and other anti-war campaign groups have repeatedly called out fmcg companies including Unilever and Mondelez for maintaining ties with Russia throughout the war, at the same time as many others have decided to exit Putin’s markets.

Fmcg firms comprise the second-highest revenue-generating and tax-paying sector in Russia, after alcohol and tobacco, according to campaigners, making a ”significant contribution to the country’s war economy”.

Read more: Why it’s so difficult for foreign fmcg companies to exit Russia

The Magnum-maker has previously said its decision to still sell some essential goods in Russia was due to fears the Kremlin would seize its assets to its advantage.

Mondelez also said it had split its Russian business off from the rest of its portfolio and scaled back operations in the country. However, CEO Dirk Van de Put came under fire earlier this year when he claimed that the company’s did not “morally care” that it stayed in Russia.

A Nestlé spokesman said the group was only selling essential goods in Russia and had cut all capital investment there.

The Ukrainian government has previously named Mondelez, PepsiCo, Mars, Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Unilever as “International Sponsors of War” for their links to Russia’s economy.