Cadbury will damage the environment by shifting production to Poland and axing jobs in Birmingham and Bristol, MPs claimed yesterday.
But the Birmingham confectionery giant hit back, saying it would actually reduce the pollution it produced by closing a Bristol factory. The chocolate-maker has announced plans to cut up to 200 jobs at its Bournville plant in Birmingham.
It has also announced the closure of its factory in Keynsham, near Bristol, with the loss of 500 jobs between now and 2010.
The cuts follow a decision to move production of some lines to the Cadbury-owned Wedel plant in Poland, where costs are cheaper. Bournville is to lose products including Milk Tray. MPs have pointed out that Cadbury's largest market is the UK, which means confectionery produced in Poland will have to be shipped back to Britain, and claimed the result will be higher pollution because of the extra transportation.
Cadbury came under fire in a Commons motion whose signatories include Birmingham MPs Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) and Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak).
They said they were "alarmed" at Cadbury's plans, adding: "Cadbury's British operations are efficient and profitable . . . the British workforce therefore faces unemployment purely due to the desire to increase profits."
Mr Burden said: "The company's plans will lead to environmental harm because of the need to transport products from Poland to Britain, which constitutes more than 90 per cent of the market for the products of the Keynsham and Bournville factories."
A Cadbury spokesman said: "We have carried out an independent environmental audit which shows that we will make a significant net reduction in carbon emissions."