Dairy Milk maker Mondelez wants to "remain competitive" in Australia

Dairy Milk maker Mondelez wants to "remain competitive" in Australia

Mondelez International has set out plans for a programme of investment at a Cadbury factory in Australia - but the move will lead to the loss of 50 jobs.

The US-based snacks giant is spending AUD75m (US$59m) on new technology, equipment and automation at its plant in Claremont in Tasmania.

However, Mondelez admitted the move to keep its local business "competitive" would mean 50 of the 450 staff at the factory would leave at the end of the year.

"Our team here has worked hard to help us become more efficient, cut costs and improve our competitiveness and as a result, we've reduced the cost of converting raw materials into a block of chocolate by 12%. But while progress has been made, increasing local and global competition, low domestic growth, rising costs and Australia's distance from overseas markets make it difficult to compete against the likes of European factories with lower costs," Amanda Banfield, the vice president of Mondelez's business in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, said. "To remain competitive, we need to improve our conversion costs by 30%, plus continue to raise the bar as competition increases further."

In May, Mondelez announced it was investing AUD4m at the Claremont plant to produce two new bars – Cadbury Dark Milk and Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Spider.

The Claremont site saw its production hit in June by the cyber attack said to have emanated from Ukraine and which affected companies including Mondelez and shipping group Maersk.

Across the Tasman Sea, Mondelez is to close a plant in the New Zealand city of Dunedin and move the "vast majority" of the site's production to Australia.