Kraft Foods - Banbury

...discuss plans for the future and review the benefit of recent manufacturing investments and the impact of other changes at the site.

This discussion included a review of the investments that Kraft has made at the plant since 2000 in energy efficiency, including a new boiler to generate power from spent coffee grounds, which acts as a source of renewable energy and reduces factory waste. A factory-wide energy awareness initiative encompasses employee training and awareness raising, together with an audit programme to monitor energy consumption.  As a result, energy used per tonne of coffee produced has fallen by 29% and total carbon dioxide emissions by 19% in this time.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Baldry commented: "The factory has been a significant part of the life of Banbury. It's good news that Kraft has invested so much to ensure the site meets the best environmental practice."

The tour was also used as an opportunity to review Kraft's plans to focus on the core business of making coffee.  Kraft has today confirmed its intention to sell a vacant factory building and adjoining area of land; and to lease unused areas of the office building and warehouse.

Plant director Neil Chapman said: "We produce soluble coffee at Banbury for the UK, Ireland, France and other countries under brand names which include Kenco, Maxwell House, and Carte Noire. We have consolidated production of our core businesses in the main plant to increase the efficiency of our operations and, therefore, have unoccupied space that we intend to sell or lease. These developments will not affect the core use of the site and the Banbury plant remains an important part of Kraft's international coffee manufacturing network."

Responding to the news, Mr Baldry commented: "What local people are looking for is the reassurance by Kraft for long-term commitment." 

 "The Council is committed to creating a ‘District of Opportunity' and local employment is at the heart of this. Kraft is a well-established and key local employer, providing a wide range of job opportunities," said Cllr Norman Bolster, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development & Estates at Cherwell District Council.  

"The Council's Economic Development Service is working closely with Kraft to identify, within the local plan framework, how it can develop its business and reinforce its long-term commitment to Banbury," said Cllr Bolster. 

About Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, with 2007 revenues of more than $37 billion. For more than 100 years, Kraft has offered consumers delicious and wholesome foods that fit the way they live.  Kraft markets a broad portfolio of iconic brands in more than 150 countries, including nine brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion: Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; Oscar Mayer meats; Philadelphia cream cheese; Maxwell House coffee; Nabisco cookies and crackers and its Oreo brand; Jacobs coffees, Milka chocolates and LU biscuits. Kraft is listed in the Standard & Poor's 100 and 500 indexes. The company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, visit the company's web site at http://www.kraft.com.