Mondelēz International confirmed today that the closure of Dunedin’s iconic Cadbury factory would go ahead, despite nationwide protests and calls for a boycott of their products. Following four weeks of discussion with the union and employees, the American company concluded that the factory was no longer commercially viable.
“We could not find a viable option that met global benchmarks and ensured the ongoing sustainable operation of the factory,” said Area Vice-President Amanda Banfield. “Our focus is now on helping our team and minimising the effect of this decision on them and the broader Dunedin community.”
Mondelēz will meet all redundancy requirements and will offer a support package including outplacement, retraining and job search assistance, plus financial planning. The company will actively support redundant workers in applying for roles that become available in Australia.
Mondelēz representatives are working with union members, MPs and local civic leaders to find local companies that could continue to produce Cadbury’s local brands, such as Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas and Chocolate Fish. Mondelēz has stated that any alternative producer must meet their global taste and quality standards and also be cost-effective.
However, while the factory itself will shut, tourist attraction Cadbury World will remain open. Cadbury World attracts over 100,000 visitors every year and Mondelēz is looking to invest in it and expand operations from the current staff of 36, a final decision on which is expected in the coming weeks.