The purple swirling Cadbury logo is instantly recognised by millions across the world who enjoy a bar of Dairy Milk or Fruit and Nut, but did you know that Cadbury is also behind one of Poland’s leading chocolate brands?
Text by Sylwia Bilińska
Cadbury is the world’s largest confectionary company, and appears in either the first or second position in twenty of the fifty most significant confectionary markets across the globe. The company is best known for its chocolate; however it also manufactures other confectionary products, including biscuits and chewing gum. Cadbury is also behind some of the world’s best-loved brands, including Green & Black’s, Trident, Halls, The Natural Confectionary Co. and Wedel. Thanks to operations in 60 countries and over 40, 000 employees, Cadbury is able to satisfy the millions of consumers worldwide who enjoy their products every day.
Cadbury in Poland
To anyone who has grown up in Poland, the Wedel logo can only mean one thing – chocolate! In Poland, Cadbury is the guardian of the Wedel brand, and regards it as one of its greatest assets.
Cadbury is in the middle of a building and investment process - literally. The company is extending and rebuilding the production facilities at the three plants that it operates in Poland. The famous Wedel factory in Warsaw is undergoing modernisation, the chocolate factory in Bielany Wrocławskie is being expanded, and a new plant producing chewing gum and chocolate is being built in Skarbimierz. This activity makes Cadbury one of the largest investors in the food industry in Poland, not to mention the largest supply chain hub for Cadbury’s European market. It also means that production capacities can be increased, from two plants to three, and consequently creates new employment opportunities: direct employment is set to increase from 1600 in early 2008, to 1900 by the middle of 2009.
Cadbury’s initial investment in Poland goes back to 1993, when the first plant producing chocolate was built in Bielany Wrocławskie. In 1999 the company acquired Wedel, the historic Polish brand, together with the Wedel factory in Warsaw, which was modernised in 2007. To date, Cadbury has invested in new lines for the production of one of the brand's flagship products Ptasie Mleczko, a chocolate bar with a creamy marshmallow centre, as well as in new laboratories and office space.
The historic Wedel chocolate factory in Warsaw is a distinctive landmark in the Praga district. Built in 1923, the plant is undergoing a facelift to bring it into the 21st century. Over PLN 100 million (approx. GB£ 18.8 million) is being invested during the period between 2008 and 2009, with investment being focused on the modernisation and expansion of production facilities, the construction of new office buildings and the renovation of factory building’s exterior. The investment started in early 2008 and is expected to be finished by the middle of 2009. The renovation is planned in a way that is sympathetic to the historical and attractive charm of the factory, without hampering the efficiency or safety of the building.
February 2008 saw announcement of another Cadbury investment project in Poland, which would be worth an estimated to EUR 200 million and receive the support of the Polish government. The proposals for this project would include the expansion of the factory in Bielany Wrocławskie, near Wrocław, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009, as well as a the construction of a new chocolate factory in Skarbimierz, which is set to be opened in 2010 and will be located next to the facility producing chewing gum. The chewing gum plant located in Skarbimierz is Cadbury’s most modern facility in the region. It manufactures products that are popular across Europe, including brands such as Trident, Stimorol, V6 and Hollywood.
In 2008, Cadbury received the accolade of “Most Significant Investor in Poland” from the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency.
Cadbury would not be able to achieve this without its employees – in Poland, Cadbury employs over 1, 600 dedicated and loyal staff. As a responsible employer, Cadbury takes its obligations to its employees, consumers, suppliers, as well as the wider community and environment very seriously. It also gives its employees opportunity to run their own community projects supported by the company.
Employees often say that one of the greatest aspects of working for Cadbury is that their colleagues are friendly and work environment is always open and welcoming. The company values this type of culture, and recognises that it is essential in fostering an environment where teams and individuals can contribute to business results. Engineers, technicians, researchers, planners, commercial managers, lawyers, finance managers… Cadbury offers a wide range of roles and employment opportunities, particularly now, at a time when the company is in the middle of significant period of development and transformation.
Cadbury’s energetic business culture is no coincidence – after all, satisfaction is at the core of what Cadbury does: “creating brands people love”. A fast-paced and competitive environment as well as well-loved brands provides plenty of opportunities for people to grow and learn – applying their passions and contributing their original ideas. Indeed, Cadbury sees corporate social responsibility and sustainability as key to future success.
Cadbury’s sustainability program is shaped by three areas:
• Purple Goes Green – an environmental program launched in 2007 with the aim of reducing the company’s global environmental footprint by cutting energy usage, reducing excess packaging and managing water use.
• Responsibility to the Community – Cadbury invests in the environment it operates. It runs several programmes that aim to improve daily life of the communities close to company’s operations.
• Cadbury Cacao Partnership – a multiple action programme to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of around one million cocoa farmers and their communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean, and to ensure fair trade and sustainability of cacao sources. Examples include the Earthshare program, Farmer Field Schools, Ghana Wells program and free newspaper for farmers.
The Wedel Brand
Cadbury is indeed a family of some of the world’s most recognisable brands – one of those brands is Wedel – the leading chocolate brand in Poland with an outstanding reputation in Poland. Wedel is much more than a chocolate brand – it is an iconic Polish brand. It has a history and tradition – loved by everyone, regardless of their age or background. In some ways it is a Polish tradition, especially when you think that so many people have grown up with this brand. It is fair to say that Poles have a very strong emotional attachment to the Wedel brand—it is loved, trusted and evokes happy memories.
The Wedel brand has always been synonymous with quality chocolate. The company was born from a vision and passion for creating perfect chocolate products. Its founder, Karol Wedel, was a pioneer in the field. Established in 1851, his factory was the first of its kind in Poland. This tradition has continued as subsequent generations of the Wedel family have developed and improved on the craft, creating a brand dear to the hearts of Poles; a brand that for decades has guaranteed exceptional taste and the highest possible quality.
Wedel is Poland's oldest chocolate brand and one of the oldest Polish brands still available on the market. It is also the brand with the highest reputation in Poland as well as the brand of highest social trust (source: premium brand research 2008). For over one hundred years it has been associated with genuine chocolate, and the experience has brought about wide recognition both in Poland and abroad. One thing that consumers appreciate the most is the fact that it has remained at a consistently high standard over the years – very little has changed.
There is more to Wedel than just bars of chocolate – there are the Wedel Chocolate Lounges which can be found throughout Poland, where you can indulge in a large mug of creamy hot chocolate, or a rich chocolaty dessert… then take the experience home, by purchasing some hand-made pralines and other Wedel products. Wedel pralines are a selection of unique, fresh, hand-made chocolates. Made with only the finest ingredients, the Wedel pralines bring together a wide range of flavours, from traditional combinations to the more exotic, and are available exclusively from the Wedel Chocolate Lounges.
Janusz Profus, the Maestro of Chocolate, is the man behind the chocolate Lounges, and the creator of the hand-made pralines, recipes for drinking chocolates, the exceptional, anniversary Jedyna chocolate, and of course, the world’s largest Wedel Torte. A highly talented confectioner, he is the holder of World Championship titles and recipient of many prestigious awards from the confectionery industry. His passion for chocolate is part of the secret behind his creations of velvet pralines, elaborate chocolate sculptures, or even the delightful prawns in white chocolate.
With the investment and support of Cadbury, Poland’s future generations can continue to enjoy Wedel chocolate, the same chocolate treat that their grandparents and great grandparents have enjoyed.