US food giant Kraft has said it is “truly sorry” for reneging on an earlier promise to keep open Cadbury's Somerdale factory just days after it acquired the Dairy Milk maker for £11.7bn in January.
The grovelling apology came from Marc Firestone, an executive vice-president at Kraft, at a grilling by MPs yesterday over the closure, although he promised that the maker of Oreo biscuits would not close any more UK factories for the next two years.
Irene Rosenfeld, the chief executive of Kraft, had snubbed the Commons Business Select Committee meeting, sending along three executives instead, including Mr Firestone, its vice-president of corporate and legal affairs.
During the takeover process Kraft vowed to keep the factory open, despite the fact that Cadbury had already set in motion the process to close the Somerdale facility, at Keynsham near Bristol, and shift production to Poland with the loss of about 400 jobs.
Jack Dromey, Unite's deputy general secretary, said that Kraft had been “utterly cynical to pretend it could reprieve the plant”.
Mr Firestone said yesterday: “We are truly sorry about that, and I am personally sorry. I personally give you my apology for creating that uncertainty.”