The Ukrainian organization Vitsche has written to several Rewe and Edeka retailers asking them to remove products from the American group Mondelez from their assortment. Mondelez's product portfolio includes 7 Days, Milka, Oreo, Philadelphia and Tuc. With the campaign, activists want to get the company to withdraw from the Russian market.

Mondelez International's press office has not yet responded to a written request from FOCUS online about the activists' initiative. However, Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Mondelez, had already stated in an interview with the “Financial Times” (paid content) that investors “morally do not care” if companies continue to do business in Russia. The chocolate maker's own shareholders did not pressure the chocolate maker to leave Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

The company has separated its Russian business from the parent company and operates there as an independent unit. Mondelez operates three factories in Russia and employs about 3,000 people. The headquarters of the Russian subsidiary are located in Moscow. The company operates a factory in Veliky Novgorod that produces chewing gum products. Chocolate is made in Pokrov (100 kilometers from Moscow) and cookies in Sobinka.

The National Anti-Corruption Authority (NACP) of the Ukrainian government had placed Mondelez on the list of international sponsors of the war. The background was the significant increase in the company's sales in Russia. While in 2021 it still amounted to $1,016 million, in 2022 it increased to $1,463 million.

This is how Mondelez justifies its Russian business

Following criticism last year, Mondelez highlighted in a press release that “like most global food and beverage companies,” it continues to provide food “in these difficult times” and has focused “activities in Russia on affordable and non-perishable foods that are a basic food.” food for the average citizen.”

If Mondelez were to withdraw from Russia, this would mean “great uncertainty for the approximately 3,000 colleagues and more than 10,000 farmers” who depend on the company. Van de Put made similar comments. The Mondelez boss said anyone who left the country would be leaving their assets to “friends” of Russian president and warmonger Vladimir Putin. This would likely generate more money for Putin's war chest than the taxes Mondelez pays in the country. Although Mondelez made less profits in Russia after the war of aggression against Ukraine, Van de Put said, the company was able to operate profitably with lower investments.

Ukrainian activists call for boycott of Milka in Germany

Although Mondelez has promised to reduce its activities in Russia, the company continues to operate production facilities there, Ukrainian activists criticize in a letter. This would mean that companies like Mondelez are co-financing Russia's illegal war against Ukraine. The Vitsche organization expressly praises the two supermarket chains Rewe and Edeka for “removing all Russian-made products from their supermarket shelves” shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

According to a 2019 assessment, Mondelez is one of the four largest food companies in Germany. Mondelez International's annual sales amounted to €6.9 billion. Ferrero earned the most with annual sales of 11.9 billion euros, says Dr. August Oetker with 7.4 billion euros and the meat processing company Tönnies with 7.3 billion euros.