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Cadbury to close Dunedin factory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

Dunedin's Cadbury factory will close from next year, with its 350 jobs set to move to Australia, its owner says.

Mondelez International on Thursday told staff it proposed to shut the chocolate factory's doors after 80 years in business.

Three-hundred-and-fifty staff work there and the first round of redundancies would take place in late 2017, with 100 staff staying on until the closure in early 2018, the company said in a statement.

It planned to move production to Australian factories.

"This is an incredibly difficult announcement, given the factory's proud history and the outstanding performance of our employees," Mondelez vice-president for Australia, New Zealand and Japan Amanda Banfield said.

Seventy per cent of Dunedin product was exported, particularly to Australia, and the factory's distance made it too expensive to keep running, she said.

However, the company was was ready to keep investing into the popular tourism attraction Cadbury World, with a final decision to be made on a redevelopment in April.

The company said it was now consulting on the changes and would work to provide other roles to staff where possible.

Labour Party Dunedin MP Clare Curran says the closure is a "devastating blow" for the community.

"These people have been proud to work at this iconic Dunedin institution, and proud to supply products for export with a global recognition. My heart goes out to them," she said.

She said the closure underscored the importance of regional development planning.

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