Cadbury's Keynsham plant to close in days

Cadbury plant in Keynsham Kraft had initially promised to keep the plant open

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Production of chocolate bars at a Cadbury factory near Bristol is set to end within the next few days.

Cadbury was taken over by American food giant Kraft in February, which had pledged to keep the Keynsham site open.

But days after the takeover was completed the firm controversially announced that it would close the plant and move production to Poland.

The decision was criticised by the Takeover Panel which said Kraft did not give accurate information to investors.

Job losses from the shutdown will eventually total 400.

Once production ends a skeleton staff of around 50 people will remain on site to handle maintenance until about March 2011.

'No respect'

Kraft said it would not be officially marking the end of the Somerdale plant, which has been open since 1919.

"There won't be any ceremony to mark the final bar coming off the line," said a statement from the company.

"It would be very hard to define what is the final bar - we make hundreds at a time and if it's near the end of a production run we will not know which bars end up as suitable for distribution."

Keynsham resident Amoree Radford, who led the Save Cadbury's Campaign, said she was disappointed there would be no official ceremony.

"Kraft are not going to mark anything because they have no reason - they've got no respect for the employees or the Cadbury's workers," she said.

The Somerdale plant was originally built by the Fry family. It merged with Cadbury Brothers in 1919.

Products made there included Fry's Chocolate Cream, Dairy Milk, Chocolate Buttons, Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs, Cadbury's Fudge, Chomp and the Crunchie.

Double Decker bars are the last chocolates in production at the site.

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