Kraft Foods has pledged to invest in Cadbury and create more jobs in Britain, as the American confectionery major tries to silence a public backlash against its 11.9-billion pound takeover of the British chocolate major, according to British media reports.
“Kraft has pledged to create more jobs in Britain and increase Cadbury’s growth plans as it tries to head off a public backlash against its 11.9-billion pound take over of the British confectionery firm,” the Sunday Telegraph said.
Kraft executive Vice-President for strategy Michael Osanloo said that the British company is a valuable asset that will be looked after. “Under the ownership of a bigger company with more resources at its disposal we will be able to invest in Cadbury in a way that it has never been invested in,” Osanloo said.
Osanloo, the man in charge of the integration of Cadbury into the US giant, told the newspaper, “We are not foolhardy enough to do anything to harm the history of Cadbury and the integrity of its brands.”
He further added that “as far as Cadbury in Britain goes it is our hope, desire and our plan to invest in Cadbury. I would fully expect that once we can actually look at what is going on and have a more informed perspective that this should, down the road, increase manufacturing jobs in Britain.”
Kraft intends to create a large amount of savings through procurement of cocoa, dairy, sugar, packaging and advertising rather than cutting jobs.
“I am very optimistic that the vast majority of our synergy savings will come from things that do not affect jobs,” he added.
On Cadbury’s two major plants at Somerdale, near Bristol, and Bourneville, where Cadbury had been cutting jobs recently, he said, “Those are very important plants for Cadbury historically. I think it is unfortunate that Cadbury has in the past been cutting jobs at those plants and I would love to be able to figure out a way to do something other than what the current plan is.”
He told the Sunday Telegraph this weekend that, “We fully intend to respect and honour the heritage of Cadbury in Britain. We actually have a very strong track record of having done so with other acquisitions, particularly other confectionery acquisitions.”
Elaborating further he said, “Most of the world would not know that we own Toblerone, that we own Milka, that we own Marabou or Cotedor, because in every one of these instances we have honoured the history of those business.”
Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Belgium (the homes of the four chocolate bars he lists) have all had experience of Kraft ownership, and the brands have remained domestically based and robust.