Wanted: A saviour for iconic Kiwi candies Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas and Pinky Bars
Iconic Kiwi sweets Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas and Pinky Bars could continue to be made in New Zealand if Cadbury's owner can find another confectionary company to take over their production by the end of the week, a union says.
Owner Mondelez confirmed in March the Cadbury factory in Dunedin will shut down in early 2018, ending 150 years of operation in the city and the jobs of about 300 staff.
But the union representing workers at the factory, E tu, says there's still a "glimmer of hope" some of the axed jobs could stay in New Zealand - if another manufacturer can be found to step up before Friday.
"Mondelez have called for expressions of interest for a new or current confectionary company to produce some iconic Kiwi Cadbury products locally, such as Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas, Buzz Bars and Pinky Bars," it said.
The call for potential buyers had to end on June 2 in order to allow for a "seamless transition when production ends", the company said.
"While to date, we haven't received any expressions of interest from potential investors wanting to establish a local factory to make these products, we are urging any interested parties to reach out to us now," a Mondelez spokeswoman said.
E tu national director of industries Neville Donaldson said while nothing had been agreed, the situation represented a rare chance to keep jobs in the country.
"Mondelez haven't made any commitment beyond checking out the possibilities, but there is a glimmer of hope for our dedicated members," he said.
The announcement of the closure prompted large public outcry, protests, including calls for boycotts of Cadbury products and a petition.
Mondelez is planning to move production to Australia and said with 70 per cent of Dunedin product exported, including across the Tasman, the factory was too expensive to keep running.