Mayor pushes Rainbow’s case

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Rainbow Confectionery is “well able” to produce Cadbury’s Kiwi brands at its Regina Lane base, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher says.
In mid-March, it was announced the Cadbury factory in Dunedin is to close in early 2018, putting hundreds of people out of work.
At the time, the E Tu union said Cadbury owner Mondelez International had agreed to look to New Zealand manufacturers to produce its New Zealand brands.
On June 3, the Otago Daily Times reported the deadline for local companies such as Rainbow Confectionery to express interest to make Jaffas, Buzz Bars and Pineapple Lumps under licence had passed.
Rainbow Confectionery general manager Brent Baillie confirmed to the Oamaru Mail that the sweet maker was interested in the Kiwi brands, but declined to comment further.
Mr Kircher has weighed in on the issue and said he supported any move by Rainbow Confectionery to ensure the production of the much loved sweet brands remained in the Otago region.
“I fully support Rainbow in any bid they make to get the production based here,” Mr Kircher said.
“They’ve got an excellent factory, they’ve increased their production capacity … my understanding is they’re well able to make those products here, and I’m sure if they need more staff, there’s obviously some skilled staff in Dunedin that would jump at the opportunity to live in a place as wonderful as Oamaru.
“I’m really keen that we have the opportunity to produce those products in Oamaru and I understand that there is a need to work through a process that might keep the production in Dunedin, but I think the critical thing for the region is that if the products are made in Otago, that’s a lot better than what I believe
they’re talking about _ potentially production moving offshore.”
Rainbow completed its $3 million factory expansion project in April.
It meant the factory boosted its production capacity from just above 2700 tonnes a year to 8000 tonnes a year.
Meanwhile, a proposal to save the Cadbury factory was unveiled last Wednesday.
On June 7, the Otago Daily Times reported Dunedin city councillor Jim O’Malley was trying to raise $20 million to keep the factory open on a portion of the site.
Mr O’Malley’s plan is to run a public share offer aimed at the general public as well as business.
Under the proposal, the plant would make the full range of New Zealand favourites, such as Jaffas and Pineapple Lumps, under licence for Mondelez International.
He said production would start in August 2018, but Mondelez wanted to confirm the third-party manufacturer in a couple of months’ time.