“I believed them and the employees believed them,” she said.
“The plant is very productive, it is very profitable. Kraft said they wanted to expand it and wanted to be environmentally-friendly.
“So of course we believed them – who wouldn’t?”
But as soon as the takeover was complete, Kraft said plans for a move of manufacturing to Poland were too advanced and the Somerdale plant was doomed.
The company said that during the hostile takeover it had not known that Cadbury had spent tens of millions of pounds kitting out a Polish factory, leaving it with no choice but to renege on its commitment to Somerdale.
“We were absolutely devastated. You’ve got to trust to people and we trusted them. We thought they would be insane to close it,” said Ms Radford.
And less than a year after the announcement that sealed the fate of the Keynsham factory, the last chocolate bar has rolled off the production line.
In its heyday, thousands of people worked at Somerdale, which was originally a joint venture between Cadbury and another Quaker family, the Frys, makers of Turkish Delight.
When production ended the number of staff was 400, which will be reduced to 50 as the factory is cleaned up over the next few months.
via BBC News – Broken chocolate factory pledge devastates Keynsham.