The move of Cadbury production to Australia has left a bad taste in the city, says a Dunedin MP.
Parent company Modelez today said it will move production to Australia after bids to find a local manufacturer failed.
Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said Modelez made it "impossible" for a third-party production to get off the ground.
"A third-party operation would have provided job opportunities for some of the more than 300 Dunedin Cadbury workers being made redundant, particularly if it had remained in Dunedin or even the region," Curran said.
"The hollow words by Mondelez spokespeople throughout this process leave our community with a bad taste and no jobs," she said.
The city councillor behind the funding campaign to keep Cadbury in New Zealand agreed they never had a real chance.
Dunedin City Councillor Jim O'Malley ran a public fundraising campaign in a bid to keep Cadbury production in Dunedin. The crowd-funding venture received more than $5 million but O'Malley said he would not be able to meet Mondelez's timeframes for manufacturing the classic Kiwi confectionery lines in Dunedin.
He has since started a new craft chocolate venture.
Speaking to the Herald today, O'Malley said he felt Modelez's offer of sale was more of a "PR move more than anything else".
Representative union E tu was also highly critical of the move.
"Mondelez has shown no compunction about closing a very profitable factory in Dunedin at the cost of quality, full-time jobs for New Zealand workers," director of industries Neville Donaldson said.
"There are companies which would have given their right arm to be able to run the Cadbury factory and enjoy the profits it was making when the decision was made to close", he said.
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.