Friday 5 February 2021 9:52 am

Cadbury returns to Birmingham in post-Brexit production shift

Staff writer

The owner of Cadbury, Mondelez International, is planning to shift more Dairy Milk production back to its historic Bournville factory in Birmingham.

The company announced a £15m investment at the Birmingham site, and from 2022 125m more Dairy Milk bars are to be manufactured there.

Mondelez’ UK managing director Louise Stigant said Bournville is still considered “the heart of Cadbury”, and bringing more Dairy milk production back “home” offered the opportunity to invest in plant.

Stigant added: “At a time when manufacturing in the UK is facing significant challenges, it has never been more vital to secure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of our business.”

£11m of the new funding will go towards a new production line and the remaining £4m to increasing chocolate production capacity.

Read more: Retailers ‘desperate’ for roadmap out of lockdown as sales continue to fall

Cost consideration

Costs at Bournville were three times higher than at Mondelez’ European sites five years ago, but the company says this new investment will help increase capacity at the UK site by 30 per cent.

However, Mondelez confirmed the investment would not lead to the creation of any new jobs.

The Bournville site employs 1,300 people out of a 4,000 strong Cadbury workforce across the UK.

Mondelez International said some production in Germany, Ireland, Hungary and Poland will continue but at a limited capacity.

In 2017 the revelation that Mondelez had temporarily moved some of the Cadbury production to Poland led to angry reactions in Birmingham.

Birmingham trade unions and MPs reacted positively to the move of chocolate production back to Birmingham, saying it represented a “vote of confidence in the UK workforce.”

PM Boris Johnson welcomed the move in a tweet last night, saying: “It’s fantastic to see this Great British brand making more chocolate bars in its historic Birmingham home.”

Read more: Almost half of UK exporters hurt by Brexit, says new survey

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