Mondelēz International will shift Cadbury confectionery production from its Dunedin site in New Zealand to Australia, with 300 jobs lost.
Despite an ‘exhaustive search and extensive work with a potential supplier’ no local manufacturer has been found.
Mondelez had said some local production of iconic New Zealand brands might continue if it found a suitable manufacturer, but has now said this won’t be possible. The Cadbury factory in Dunedin will close early next year.
Kraft bought the factory in 2010 as part of an £11.9 billion takeover of the global Cadbury group.
Mondelēz New Zealand country head James Kane said the company had invested significant effort over the last six months in trying to find a potential local manufacturing partner.
“We looked at a range of potential solutions, from partnering to make the full portfolio, through to offering individual products to potential suppliers,” he said.
“We were absolutely hoping we could make a local solution work for the entire portfolio which included multiple visits by members of our Dunedin, ANZ and regional teams to the site to assess their existing technologies and work processes.
“The iconic Kiwi products require particular technologies, production processes and skills, and very few manufacturers anywhere in the world could take on this work while continuing to match our product requirements.”
The E tū union was highly critical of the decision, staying it will be ‘bitterly disappointing’ for the more than 300 Dunedin workers who will lose their jobs.
In August Mondelēz announced a AUD 75 million ($59 million) investment in its Cadbury Claremont plant in Australia. However, 50 jobs will be lost as a result of rising costs and increasing competition.
The company said it aims to boost efficiency through investment in new technologies, equipment and automation, as well as increasing the skills and capabilities of its workforce.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017