Kraft to close Cadbury factory near Bristol

The US food giant Kraft was last night accused of "deliberately misleading" 400 Cadbury workers after it confirmed it will close the UK confectionery company's manufacturing plant near Bristol in the wake of the £11.7bn take over of the Dairy Milk maker.

The original decision to close the factory in 2011 was taken by Cadbury, but the US company said yesterday its "original intent" was to "reverse the closure programme". This month, Cadbury's shareholders accepted the 850p a share, including a special dividend, takeover bid from Kraft.

Jennie Formby, the union's national officer for the food and drinks sector, expressed her "great anger" at the decision by Kraft yesterday that the closure of the Somerdale plant will go ahead as planned. She said: "Anger that Kraft deliberately misled many hundreds of decent men and women in Keynsham by saying that they would keep Somerdale open, despite Unite making very clear to them as early as September that this seemed impossible with the timeline for closure already seemingly set in stone."

She added: "Anger that Kraft's thirst for public approval during the most unpopular takeover we've seen in recent times drove the company to ignore those warnings and instead choose to state repeatedly that the site would not close. Anger that they have ignored repeated requests for meetings and discussions over the future, and anger that even as senior management were on site in Somerdale preparing to make their statement to our members, a Kraft director was assuring Unite that they had not made any decision yet but we would be the first to know."

Unite said the closure "sends the worst possible message to the 6,000 other Cadbury workers in the UK and Ireland".

Following talks with senior Cadbury management, Kraft said it had "reluctantly" accepted that plans to close the Somerdale manufacturing facility in Keynsham were too far advanced. The maker of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Oreo cookies said the investment required to reverse the closure programme would be so significant that alternative plans were "not viable".

Irene Rosenfeld, the chief executive of Kraft, said: "In our recent talks with Cadbury senior management, it became clear that it is unrealistic to reverse the closure programme, despite our original intent to do so. While this is a difficult decision, we have moved quickly to end any further uncertainty."

She added: "We remain committed to investing in growing our combined business in the UK and will continue to support Cadbury's existing £30 million investment plans for the Bournville site. 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."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) - Hertfordshire/Middlesex

£300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style