Actor Sam Neill has threatened to call for a boycott of Cadbury products should the company go ahead with the closure of its Dunedin factory.

In what was a shock for not only the 362 Cadbury's staff but also the wider Dunedin community, US multinational Mondelez International announced last week the closure of the profitable Dunedin plant, preferring to manufacture in Australia.

The Cadbury owner said it was no longer able to absorb the increasing production costs from manufacturing in Dunedin and would be closing in 2018.

Actor Sam Neill expressed his displeasure with the move on Twitter.


"If #Cadburys really close their factory in Dunedin, I will ask every one here & Australia to NEVER sell or buy anything Cadbury EVER again," he said.

Dunedin dairy Brunch 'N' Lunch is one of a growing number of businesses and individuals calling for a boycott of Cadbury products.

"I've taken all my Cadbury's stuff out and that's it, I'm not going to buy it any more," said owner Errol White.

He had spoken to other Dunedin business owners who were considering removing Cadbury products from their shelves.

The Boycott Cadbury NZ Facebook page had 1178 members as of this morning.

However, the union representing the majority of 362 Dunedin Cadbury staff set to lose their jobs, E tu, has called for the public not to boycott Cadbury's chocolate.

E tu industry co-ordinator Chas Muir said the factory closure was not just a poor economic decision but would "do huge harm to this brand, wherever the chocolate is produced".

However, the workers want the public to continue to support local production, because that would secure their jobs until the factory closed.