Cadbury closure: Dunedin asked to 'fight back'

  • 10/03/2017

The organisers of a rally to protest the closure of Dunedin's Cadbury factory are sending out a call to locals to turn up.

Don Pryde, chair of the Save Cadbury Community Action Group, says it's a chance to tell the plant's owners that Dunedin wants it retained.

"We want people to come out and show their feelings to Mondelez, so people can show the company we don't want the factory to close. We don't believe it needs to close, and we just want Mondelez to get the message."

Mr Pryde says failing to fight back makes its closure a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"People say to me the decision's been made and you can't argue with it. Some of the councillors have actually said it's a done deal and just move on, but I don't agree. People can fight back, and they should."

The South Island chocolate factory will be closed next year, leaving more than 350 people without jobs.

The factory has made Cadbury's parent brand, Mondelez, around $45 million in profit over the last five years.

Mr Pryde says the damage to Cadbury's battered brand will be incalculable.

"If it does go ahead, there will be lots of brand damage to Canterbury. There are shops in Dunedin that have taken Cadbury products off their shelves and won't stock them."

An unscientific poll last month conducted by The AM Show found 84 percent of viewers plan to boycott Cadbury products if the plant closes.

Most production will be transferred to a factory in Melbourne.