Mondelēz International has announced that 40 workers will lose their jobs at the Cadbury Claremont facility in Hobart, as the company invests $20m in new machinery for Flake and Twirl bars.
A statement from the multinational confectionery company detailing the automation investment read: “The announcement today means that approximately 40 of the 400 team will be leaving the business.”
Cadbury Claremont Site Manager, Ross Coleman said that tough decisions are “never easy” to make.
“While a large number of the impacted roles are temporary or will be subject to voluntary redundancy, it is never easy to make these tough decisions or say goodbye to colleagues, many of whom have worked together for years,” Coleman said.
Last year the company announced significant investment into new technologies, equipment and automation.
“Our employees have worked hard to help us become more efficient and improve our competitiveness, and we are now nearing best-in-class conversion rates for some products,” Coleman said.
“However, certain product lines such as Flake and Twirl require significant efficiencies to ensure we can compete globally and overcome some of the challenges associated with Australian production, such as our distant location, low domestic growth, and rising costs of freight and other inputs,” he added.
The AU$20 million upgrade includes investment in the factory’s Flake and Twirl lines and chocolate making section, which is expected to increase the site’s productivity.
“Currently our employees manually place Flake and Twirl bars onto a line to be wrapped. The new equipment will connect and automate the bar making and wrapping line, which will increase capacity and remove some of these repetitive motion activities,” Coleman explained.
“In chocolate making, we are installing more equipment which will allow us to make the same smooth creamy chocolate our consumers love, in less time.”
Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman said in a statement to Inside FMCG that the government will provide assistance to those affected.
“The Tasmanian Government will provide assistance to workers affected by the decision by Cadbury to cut jobs at their Claremont factory. It will be a difficult time for the people impacted by this decision, and our thoughts are with them and their families.
“The Government’s Skills Response Unit will also work with management to identify opportunities to redeploy displaced workers to alternative employment options. Tasmania’s employment market and business conditions remain very strong, and we welcome Cadbury’s investment plans which should ensure a long term future in the State,” Hodgman said.