Thank you very much. Not! Christmas choccie shortage looms

With Christmas decorations already decking the halls in most supermarkets, and Christmas wrapping paper piled by the cash registers, now might be a good time to stock up on chocolate goodies.

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Almost every family has ‘Christmas food’ that they buy every festive season, whether it be chocolate-covered sultanas, marshmallow Santas, a box or tin of Roses or Favourites, stone fruits such as apricots and cherries, or a big leg of ham or some seafood.

But if it’s family tradition to crack open a box of chocolates on Christmas Day, there’s a possibility you may go empty handed if you leave your purchases too late.

Hundreds of Cadbury workers will go on strike next week amid claims of unfair workplace practices at the chocolate-maker’s Ringwood, Victoria, factory. Amazingly, the Herald Sun reports that just 12 maintenance workers at the centre of the strike are able to stop the supply of chocolate to Australia’s entire eastern seaboard. reported that the factory at Ringwood makes Roses chocolates as well as the Dairy Milk and Freddo brands

The Electrical Trades Union, which represents the 12 workers, claims that a new rostering system ‘banishes’ some of the 12 people to late-night and weekend shifts, and that they have already started some stop-work action, which they could escalate. Doing so would “endanger the supply of choccies to the east coat, the union told the Herald Sun.

Mondelez International, which runs the factory, denies that industrial action could interrupt supply, but there’s no harm in being safe rather than sorry if Roses or Favourites are your Christmas treat of choice.

Whether it be foods that our mother made, or new traditions we’ve created more recently, Aussies’s don’t tend to like their Christmas being changed without notice. Remember the panic over a Christmas prawn shortage last year, when white spot threatened many prawn farms and prices looked set to sear to more than $50 a kilogram?

Still, if we are left chocolate-less, there’s always the good, old family puddings recipe, and trifle layered with Aeroplane jelly devilled eggs, to pull out!