Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Anger in Bournville over Kraft bid for Cadbury

By Daniel Thomas
BBC News in Bournville

Cadbury at Bournville
The Cadbury Bournville factory was opened in 1879

There was sadness and anger, mixed with some optimism, near Cadbury's factory in Bournville, Birmingham, following news of Kraft's successful bid for the firm.

Workers past and present voiced their concerns, with some describing the move as "a disgrace", while others believe the brand's profile could grow in the US.

BBC News spoke to workers and Bournville residents outside the factory.

LUKE PARKER, 20, from West Heath

Luke Parker
Luke Parker works on the firm's 'Roses' brand

Mr Parker works on the Cadbury Roses brand.

He said: "This is the last industry Britain has got. It's a mistake. A really big mistake, but it's nothing to do with us - it's money and greed.

"At the end of the day, jobs are going to go. All people inside are talking about is selling their shares."

DAVIC DUSAN, 84, from Kings Norton

Davic Dusan
Davic Dusan worked at the Bournville factory for 35 years

Mr Dusan worked at the Bournville factory for 35 years from 1949, after arriving in England from the former Yugoslavia.

He was employed in a variety of roles from a cleaner to a shift supervisor. The firm paid for his son Andrew's studies.

He said: "It's a disgrace. Unbelievable. It's British heritage and history, and the Cadbury family - there's nothing to touch them.

"They are not a factory, they are a family. I am sad, and my family is sad."

ALAN GARDNER, 70, from Bournville

Alan Gardner
Alan Gardner's family have worked at the factory since 1908

Mr Gardner has family connections to Cadbury going back to 1908 when his grandfather, Arthur Robins, began working there.

Since then, his father-in-law and mother have both worked at the factory.

He said: "I just think it's so sad that such a successful company is sold down the river.

"There's a strong emotional link, I was born and brought up with it. The Cadbury family built the village (Bournville) so that the people of Birmingham could have better health. A very sad day."

KIRAN AMBEKAR, 35, Cadbury IT contractor

Kiran Ambekar
Kiran Ambekar fears he will have to return to India if he loses his job

Mr Ambekar came to work for Cadbury from Mumbai, India, and is worried how the Kraft bid will affect his job.

He said: "I remember Cadbury as a name growing up. It hurts - it's a heritage company for the country.

"The question is, how long am I going to stay? Everyone is worried about the future, even us contractors."

ALAN SHRIMPTON, 62, from Redditch

Alan Shrimpton
Alan Shrimpton's father and grandfather worked at Cadbury

Both Mr Shrimpton's father and grandfather worked at Cadbury. He lives in Redditch but gives history tours around Bournville.

He said: "We are talking about a firm that has been in Birmingham for 186 years. This is a brand we have grown up with and loved.

"It's another iconic British firm going to American hands. It does seem a shame that we cannot run our own businesses anymore.

"I am sorry but on the other hand...it's entirely possible that Kraft will grow the business. There's a market for our chocolate in America. It could be good news."



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In pictures: Cadbury in Bournville
15 Dec 09 |  West Midlands
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