Production for Cadbury confectionery will move to Australia after bids to find a local manufacturer failed.

Mondelez has today confirmed production will move to Australia.

Mondelez New Zealand country head James Kane said the company had invested in an exhaustive search to find a potential manufacturer.

"Unfortunately, we only received one formal response to the RFP documents from a local supplier that was interested in manufacturing the full portfolio of Kiwi products in New Zealand," Kane said.


"We've worked very closely with that supplier over the last six months to try and find a way for them to take on the work, however the unique requirements of these products - particularly the marshmallow-based products - meant it simply wasn't possible."

In February, Mondelez International confirmed the closure of the Dunedin factory, telling its staff 200 people would be made redundant by the end of the year and 100 people would remain with the business until early next year.

Kane said hundreds of hours had been spent to try to find a workable solution for a potential local manufacturer, including a number of site assessments by technical experts.

Mondelez International will now focus on shifting production to Australia early next year.

"The iconic Kiwi products require particular technologies, production processes and skills, and very few manufacturers anywhere in the world could take on this work while continuing to match our product requirements," Kane said.

The Dunedin team is playing a central role in the transition, he said.

Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said the decision to send manufacturing to Australia shows the multinational "was never serious about keeping some local production."

Curran was part of a working group set up to prioritise a Dunedin-based solution for a third party to take over the operation. She left in July, saying the group did not have a practical role in the solution.


"Mondelez has said today that they have been unable to identify a manufacturer in New Zealand to make the products," she said.

"This is because they made it impossible for a third party production to get off the ground."

Curran said its especially disappointing after more than $5 million was pledged through the Own the Factory campaign.