Nestlé New Zealand confirmed today it will proceed with the sale of local kiwi confectionery brands to RJ’s.
Completion of the sale is expected to occur on 31 August, with RJ’s in New Zealand purchasing the Mackintosh’s, Heards, Oddfellows, Black Knight and Fabulicious Red Licorice brands from Nestlé. Where possible, RJ’s intends to continue the manufacture of these brands in New Zealand, with plans to be finalised in the coming weeks. Nestlé will also sell the Life Savers brand to Darrell Lea in Australia.
Nestlé Confectionery General Manager Martin Brown thanked staff and union representatives for the productive manner in which the consultation was undertaken.
“We thank our staff and the union for the constructive way in which they have engaged with us in what we appreciate is a difficult time,” said Brown.
The sale of these Nestlé confectionery brands will result in up to 55 roles being made redundant from the Nestlé factory in Wiri. Employees will be offered voluntary redundancies in the first instance, with all affected staff offered generous redundancy packages and access to outplacement services.
“While the sale regretfully means job losses at our Wiri factory, we are working with RJ’s to identify opportunities for people leaving our workforce to join RJ’s factory in Levin."
“As well, we have been contacted by a number of other local businesses to discuss job opportunities for our employees – an indicator of the calibre of our people.”
The sale follows a review of Nestlé’s confectionery business in Australia and New Zealand, which in New Zealand, will see Nestlé focus on its chocolate, baking and medicated lozenge brands.
Nestlé will continue to manufacture culinary products at its Wiri factory, including Maggi soups, recipe mixes and a wide range of products for professional food service, sold in New Zealand and exported globally.