Mondelez says flexibility and its Irish workforce are key in the continuous improvement journey. “We can utilise the global power of the Mondelez International brands and structure, while our relatively small size gives us the agility to react to market forces and customer opportunities with greater speed than some larger markets,” says Patrick Miskelly, Manufacturing Director, Mondelez Ireland.
Since 2005, Mondelez has invested €100 million in automation in its chocolate-making factory at Coolock, which has been in operation since 1954. As well as infrastructural improvements in Coolock, the recent investment contributed to up-skilling and people development of its workforce.
The journey for the Irish chocolate plants to improve competitiveness requires employees to demonstrate flexibility and embrace new ways of working and technology – a crucial support in the ongoing programme of continuous improvement.
“We are on a journey to improve competitiveness and we have had some success, but we still have a gap to close in order to create a modern, flexible and competitive site as part of a wider Mondelez supply network. We focus on continuous improvement to remove complexity and improve efficiencies in order to support a sustainable pathway to growth to make Ireland stronger.”
In manufacturing terms, the investment has supported chocolate-manufacturing capabilities and production of core brands at the site, with the installation of new technology in the factory. This includes automation for core Cadbury brands such as Flake, Boost, and Twirl. In 2013 alone, Mondelez made a €7 million investment in capital programmes in Coolock.
In Rathmore, Co. Kerry, Mondelez produces chocolate crumb, sourcing 80 million litres of fresh milk a year from farmers in Munster. Chocolate crumb from Rathmore is supplied to Coolock and is also sold to the UK, Canada and the US.
The facility in Tallaght produces gum base for chewing gum, as well as encapsulated sweetener, which is sold to finished-goods factories in the Mondelez global network in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Mondelez International is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages. Its portfolio includes the iconic Cadbury chocolate brand, which has been manufactured in Dublin since 1932.