Production of Cadbury’s famous Dairy Milk at its historic Birmingham factory is set to increase by a third after parent company Mondelēz International announced a £15 million investment.
Last year, around 35,000 tonnes of Dairy Milk were made in Bournville – equivalent to 234 million tablets – but this new injection of capital will increase that figure by a further 12,000 tonnes currently made in Europe.
Manufacturing at sisters sites in Ireland, Germany, Hungary and Poland will continue in a limited capacity.
The move has been enabled by shifting some Easter egg production to a partner company, freeing up a line only used for eight months of the year, and will enable 40 seasonal workers to move onto full-time contracts.
The news was welcomed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight. Retweeting this story, he posted: “Dairy Milk has been a firm favourite for generations, so it’s fantastic to see this Great British brand making more chocolate bars in its historic Birmingham home.”
The first Dairy Milk bar was made by Cadbury in Bournville in 1905.
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Louise Stigant, UK managing director of parent company Mondelēz International, said: “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.
“We now have an opportunity at Bournville to further invest in its future as the home and heart of Cadbury by bringing more Dairy Milk production to Bournville.
“We are making sure we can continue to be a world-class chocolate manufacturer so we are really trying to improve the facilities at Bournville.”
The site currently employs 1,300 people out of a 4,000 strong workforce across the UK while Mondelēz International has 80,000 employees around the world.
The company said production costs at Bournville five years ago were “three times more” than similar factories in Europe but investment had increased the site’s production capacity by more than 30 per cent.
Bournville is also home to the firm’s £17 million Global Centre of Excellence for Chocolate Research and Development which opened in 2012 and has an innovation kitchen where all Cadbury products across the globe are invented.