A SHIREBROOK chocolate factory has produced a unique charity Easter egg believed to be the first to mention Jesus on the box.
The final batch of 12,000 ‘Real Easter Eggs’ departed from the BBB Dovedale site last Thursday with a special send-off from the Archdeacon of Chesterfield, The Venerable Christine Wilson.
Although around 80 million chocolate eggs are sold in the UK every year, these are the only Fairtrade-charity eggs to explain the Christian understanding of Easter.
Supermarkets at first questioned whether there would be sufficient demand for the eggs, but a campaign backed by the Church of England proved the large number of people interested in buying the unique gifts.
Campaign organisers asked schools, churches and individuals to place a direct mail order for the eggs in October last year and more than 70,000 were ordered in the first few weeks.
Two charities - the Traidcraft Exchange fair trade organisation and the Baby Lifeline, which supports new mothers and new-born babies - will benefit from every sale.
John Richardson, BBB Dovedale managing director, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on the Real Easter Egg. Even when the number of eggs doubled recently, following orders by major supermarkets, we were able to meet demand.
“Our local staff have been busy working hard making and wrapping over three million eggs this year for a number of customers. Knowing that the income raised from the Real Easter Egg will go to so many good causes is a real bonus.”
BBB Dovedale was chosen to produce the eggs by the Meaningful Chocolate Company, which developed the egg, and its spokesman David Marshall said this was because of the expert workforce at the Shirebrook factory.
“We chose BBB Dovedale as our supply partner due to their ability to respond quickly and give the attention to detail required on such a project,” he said.
“The size of BBB Dovedale, by comparison to larger manufacturers, gave an advantage to us as they were able to increase production at short notice and offer expert advice at every stage.”
After her visit, The Venerable Wilson said: “It is great news that these locally produced Easter eggs give people, for the first time, the chance of buying an Easter egg from a shop that explains the significance of the festival on the box.”
For more information visit www.realeasteregg.co.uk