Kraft confirms closure of Cadbury’s Somerdale plant

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cadbury, Kraft foods

Cadbury’s Somerdale factory will close, with production at the site in Keynsham, near Bristol transferring to Poland, Kraft Foods has confirmed...

Cadbury’s Somerdale factory will close, with production at the site in Keynsham, near Bristol transferring to Poland, Kraft Foods has confirmed after talks with senior management at Cadbury.

Following its takeover of Cadbury, Kraft said Cadbury’s existing plans to close the plant by 2011 were “so far advanced” that it was “unrealistic to reverse them”. The facility, which employs 400 workers, makes Cadbury’s Fudge, Curly Wurly, Turkish Delight and Mini Eggs.

“It has now become clear that the investment required to reverse the closure programme would be so significant that alternative plans were not viable,” said Kraft. “Cadbury has already invested more than £100M in building new production facilities in Poland and the majority of the lines have, or are about to be, transferred, by the middle of this year.”

The statement runs counter to assurances given by Kraft in September last year that it would be able to keep Somerdale open.

Announcing the revised decision on February 9, Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive of Kraft, said: “We remain committed to investing in growing our combined business in the UK and will continue to support Cadbury’s existing £30M investment plans for the Bournville site [near Birmingham].
“During the next six months we are conducting a strategic review of our combined manufacturing network. We continue to believe that the combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury will accelerate growth to the long term benefit of our employees.”
Kraft underlined promises to honour previous Cadbury undertakings to employees concerning the closure and the commitment to rebuild the Fry Club - a sports and social centre for Cadbury staff at Somerdale.

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