Cadbury is being forced to source alternative supplies after floods suspended production at its Sheffield factory, the company announced today.
It said that due to extensive flooding in the north of England, it had to close the Sheffield candy factory following the extensive damage, and production is suspended. "We have been updating our customers and suppliers regularly to explain the situation at the factory," Cadbury's corporate and financial PR manager Rowan Pearman, told ConfectioneryNews.com.
He said the company is taking steps to manage its existing stocks, and are sourcing alternative supplies during the clean-up operation. "We moved quickly to source alternative supplies from various other sources in the Cadbury Schweppes' network
The factory's employees are involved in the clean-up operation, and it will be "a number of weeks before the factory is fully operational", Cadbury said. Mr Pearman did not comment on the company's current estimations of the cost of this closure, saying it will update costs in the statement in August.
This downfall follows Cadbury's appearance in court last month following its failure to report to food regulators that its private testing in January last year had found a rare Salmonella strain in the chocolate products. One million chocolate bars were recalled after 37 people became ill with Salmonella due to Cadbury's chocolate bars.
The contamination was traced to a leaking waste water pipe at the company's plant in Marlbrook, Herefordshire. The pipe had dripped bacteria into the chocolate crumb used to make a variety of chocolate bars. The company allegedly knew about the problem since February, but fixed it without making a recall or notifying regulators.
That lesson cost the company an estimated £30m (€45m) and probably more in trust. Company crisis management was brought into the limelight in February following criticism against Bernard Matthew's failure to inform regulators that its turkeys were dying in large numbers from bird flu.
When investigations by regulators and the bulldogs of the news media uncovered the facts, the company's practices were put in an even more glaring light than warranted by the original crisis, and sales dropped by 40 per cent.
Cadbury currently claims to hold 31 per cent of the UK confectionery market.