The Service and Food Workers’ Union of New Zealand (SFWU) reports strong membership approval (95%) for a new agreement at the Dunedin chocolate plant. The agreement gives a 4% increase in wages, improved shift allowances and enhanced parental and bereavement leave.
Dunedin produces finished chocolate products for the New Zealand market and chocolate crumb for Cadbury operations in Australia, Pakistan and China. A restructuring operation announced in 2007 and completed in 2009 centered on big job cuts with the closure of the Auckland (Avondale) and Melbourne factories and job cuts at Dunedin. Cadbury’s investment in the Dunedin site, geared to tap growth in the rapidly expanding Asia/Pacific market, was boosted with money from the government’s Strategic Investment Fund.
The restructuring also meant offshoring production of previously New Zealand-made Cadbury products to Australia, Asia and the UK. According to the company news release (http://www.cadbury.co.nz/about-cadbury/news.aspx?newsid=274), “establishing specialised centres of manufacturing excellence also means that some products previously produced in New Zealand will now move offshore; this includes iconic favourites such as Moro (to Australia), Jet Planes (to Australia), and Pascall Minties (to Thailand).
“The cost of ingredients like sugar and cocoa has gone through the roof in the last two years, and we have been working behind the scenes to keep our chocolates and lollies affordable…
“Mr Oldham’s comments follow Cadbury’s public announcement in September 2007, when it announced that it would be closing its factories in Avondale, Auckland, and Notting Hill, Melbourne, due to antiquated equipment and duplication of product manufacturing within its lolly factories. To ensure many of these products continued to be made for Kiwi consumers, Cadbury also announced that 90% of its lolly production would move to specialist factories in Dunedin and Scoresby (Melbourne, Australia) whilst a limited number of products would move to specialist Cadbury factories in Asia.”
“In August last year, Cadbury also announced it was creating a specialist factory for bars at Ringwood in Melbourne. Chocolate bars including Moro, Crunchie and Perky Nana that were previously made on old equipment at Dunedin will now be made on new, state-of-the-art equipment at Cadbury’s Ringwood factory in Melbourne. Australian-made Moro will reach retailer shelves in New Zealand in February/March next year.
“With the closure of the Avondale lolly factory, Kiwi icons such as Eskimos and Jet Planes will also be produced at Cadbury’s specialist manufacturing centre at Scoresby, Melbourne from early 2010. Some products such as Minties, Fruit Chews and Milk Shakes have already moved to Cadbury’s newly built Thailand factory. But iconic Kiwi favourites such as Jaffas, Pebbles, Pineapple Lumps and Pinky will continue to be made in New Zealand.
“Dunedin also no longer has the space or sufficiently modern equipment to produce high quality Cadbury Creme Eggs so from next year the Cadbury Creme Eggs sold in New Zealand will be manufactured in the UK.”