Do you ever look at where your clothing, food or toys have been made? Do you notice how many products are made in China, Indonesia or other third world countries?

Last week Cadbury announced that it will close their plant in Dunedin. About 350 workers will lose their jobs.
Cadbury is owned by Mondelez International. It is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in Illinois which employs about 107,000 people around the world. It has annual revenue of nearly $US30billion ($NZ42billion).

Mondelez has been investing in new factories, but they are not in wealthy countries like New Zealand.

New Zealand has a minimum wage. New Zealand has a standard of working conditions, such as enforced break times. Some countries don’t have those rules. Therefore, making products in these countries costs a lot less.

I realise that things like this happen every day. Big multinational companies make decisions to improve their companies often. They look at ways of making more money and making things more efficient.

But, this factory has hundreds of years of history. Back in the 1860’s Richard Hudson set up his bakery making biscuits. In 1884 he brought a chocolate making plant. Then in 1930 Cadbury took over and the business was known as Cadbury Fry Hudson.

The vacant factory will from next year be a major reminder of what Dunedin has lost. Hundreds of years of history, and more importantly hundreds of jobs affecting the livelihood of hundreds of families.

We can’t stop Mondelez International making this decision. But I think as New Zealanders can make a stand. We can support New Zealand made products. We can take notice of where our clothes, food and toys are made. Imagine what would happen if all New Zealanders only brought New Zealand made products.

Can we prevent more factories like Cadbury’s Dunedin closing?

List three good things about supporting New Zealand made products.
List three bad things about supporting New Zealand made products.
Do you think it is wrong that big multinational companies are closing smaller factories? Why?

Practical Tasks:
Find 5 food items in your pantry or fridge and list the country they are made in.
Find 5 items of clothing and list the country they are made in.

7 Responses

  1. I’m not going to turn my nose up at a product because of the standards of working that the workers have. If it’s cheaper, I’ll gladly take it over a product from a company who has to do things like give minimum wage and not work their workers to death.

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