Mondelēz International has confirmed that it will be ending its Dunedin factory operations in early 2018.
“Following four weeks of detailed consultation with the union and employees to assess alternatives, we could not find a viable option that met global benchmarks and ensured the ongoing sustainable operation of the factory,” said Amanda Banfield, Area Vice-President for Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
“Our focus is now on helping our team and minimising the impact of this decision on them and the broader Dunedin community.
“The company will meet all redundancy requirements in the employment agreements and offer a support package that includes outplacement, retraining and job search assistance plus financial planning. The union and the Dunedin team will provide input to the package to ensure it helps our people through this change.”
The company has also committed to retaining as many of the team as possible and will actively support them in applying for roles that become available in Australia or the region. This support includes relocation assistance for successful applicants and their families.
Banfield adds: “While we could make these products in Australia, a working group of members from the company, union, MPs and civic leaders will now look for potential third-party manufacturers that could make the company’s Kiwi brands in New Zealand. Any potential manufacturer would need to meet Mondelēz International’s global taste and quality standards and be cost-effective.
Mondelēz International also reaffirmed its intention to support Dunedin’s growing tourism sector through Cadbury World, which already attracts over 110,000 visitors a year. The company is ready to invest in a redevelopment to make Cadbury World an even better visitor experience, provided there is community support, which has been positive so far.
The company is confident the plans for redevelopment and the prospect of more visitors and jobs at Cadbury World, beyond the existing 36 roles, will appeal to local stakeholders. A final decision on the redevelopment will be made in coming weeks.
The factory site is a landmark in the centre of Dunedin, and its future use will be of interest to the community. The company will work with local stakeholders and businesses to help find a buyer that will develop the site in a way that supports the community and economy.
“Mondelēz International remains committed to New Zealand and will continue to employ over 130 people nationwide to support the hundreds of small, medium and large retailers and business partners we have right across the country,” said Banfield.