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South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes hits out at Cadbury over ‘gesture eggs’ sold at Spalding store

South Holland and the Deepings MP says he will be writing to Cadbury over ‘gesture eggs’ in his latest column.

Easter is a time of hope and renewal, being the cornerstone of the Christian faith, as we are reminded of the sacrifices Jesus made for us.

Accordingly, on Easter Sunday, churches of all denominations celebrate Christ’s resurrection and the most wonderful gift of all — the promises of eternal life and redemption.

Cadbury has come under fire from MP Sir John Hayes. PHOTO: iStock/WILLSIE
Cadbury has come under fire from MP Sir John Hayes. PHOTO: iStock/WILLSIE

Easter time also signifies the changing of the seasons – the passage from the cold and dark of winter, into the warmer light of spring.

Each year the blossom on trees in my Moulton garden, and the splendid fields of yellow daffodils that punctuate South Holland’s landscape, are reminders that spring is a time of rebirth.

Yet, there is also a tinge of sadness to the joy of a new season, as the bringing forth of another year marks the unrelenting passage of time.

John Hayes
John Hayes

As the great poet Philip Larkin observed: ‘The trees coming into leaf, like something almost said; the recent buds relax and spread, their greenness is a kind of grief.’

Larkin’s words remind us of the Easter story’s poignance, a time to remember that it was through Christ’s death on a cross that a new hope was born.

The crucifixion and resurrection is the essential message of spring — His love brings the prospect of rebirth for us all.

Easter celebrations are also marked by moments to enjoy with family and friends, hot cross buns, simnel cake, chocolate eggs and other indulgences eschewed during Lent.

Such Eastertide treats are not only seasonal delights, but symbols of sacrifice and rebirth.

These Christian traditions, passed down over generations, should be cherished.

So, it is a shame that some people are determined to be puritanical killjoys, take the clownish character from NHS Suffolk and Essex ICB who last week deemed it necessary to sanction that Easter egg intake should be strictly limited.

Or, still more appallingly, the bizarre rebranding of Easter eggs as ‘gesture’ eggs in the Cadbury’s shop in Springfields.

Following many constituents’ complaints, knowing this will be a corporate diktat not a local decision, I have written to Cadbury’s national headquarters to register their customers objections to this nonsense and my own.

Like so many corporations, Cadbury’s have lost their way.

For if they haven’t, they would appreciate that separating the meaning of Easter from chocolate eggs is insensitive at best, and offensive at worst.

Happily, the vast majority of sensible people appreciate that Easter is a time of delight and promise because it embodies the kind of belief and hope which joyfully colour our shared sense of what truly matters.

Mondelez International, which owns Cadbury, has stated that it would be ‘factually incorrect’ to state that Easter is not referenced on the packaging of eggs sold in the UK.

A spokesperson said: 'All Cadbury Easter shell eggs sold in the UK reference Easter very clearly on the packaging – sometimes multiple times. Cadbury has used the word Easter in our marketing and communications for over 100 years and continue to do so with our new Easter product range. To claim anything otherwise is factually incorrect.

'We are proud of the role we play within families' Easter celebrations and have a wide range of products that can be enjoyed throughout the Easter season.'

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