Gloriavale business loses contract amid employment controversy

A Gloriavale company has lost a contract to make Moo Chews children snacks after questions about their employment practices. Photo: Supplied
A Gloriavale company has lost a contract to make Moo Chews children snacks after questions about their employment practices. Photo: Supplied
A Gloriavale company has lost a contract to make Moo Chews children's snacks after questions about their employment practices.

A post on the Moo Chews Facebook page said it has suspended further manufacturing with the company and was looking for another manufacturer for the product.

"The Moo Chews brand is all about children and family values. Moo Chews promotes responsibility and values good character.

"We do not condone forced labour or exploitation of people, and we do not support any supplier that condones these practices."

The Gloriavale Christian Community has faced scrutiny and a number of investigations surrounding labour laws and allegations of child abuse.

WorkSafe visited the site late last year following reports of 23-hour work shifts for members, and threats by church leaders.

Gloriavale was founded by convicted sex offender Neville Cooper, aka the late Hopeful Christian, in 1969 north of Christchurch, before the community - which now numbers about 600 - moved to Lake Haupiri in the 1990s.

A leaver of the group, John Ready, has launched a civil court action to have the board of trustees removed and have them replaced with a public trust "until a fit board can be found".

The announcement from Moo Chews may not be enough to quell angry customers who appeared to be unaware of the company's connection to Gloriavale.

"So who is making the Moo Chews for you, whilst you have 'suspended' Gloriavale? And if you can't find an alternative manufacturer, to make the product at slave labour prices, will you just continue to get them made surreptitiously by Gloriavale? And hope people don't notice," one commenter said.

"Too little too late. Just abiding by the law is not enough and you can't plead ignorance to the controversy surrounding Gloriavale," said another.

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