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Nestlé celebrates 50 years of producing iconic Kiwi products

26 November 2012

Nestlé site celebrates 50 years of producing iconic Kiwi products

Many New Zealanders have strong memories of Christmas with Nestlé Scorched Almonds; sneaking spoonfuls of Highlander Condensed Milk from the fridge, a shared moment over a cup of Nescafé or a hot Milo around the camp fire.

At the heart of these memories is Nestlé’s Cambria Park factory, the company’s main production site in Wiri, Auckland, which recently celebrated 50 years of operations. Since opening, these and hundreds of other Nestlé products have been manufactured on site at some point, and the factory has provided thousands of Kiwis with jobs, contributed hundreds of millions to the local economy, and ensured our shelves are stocked with iconic Nestlé favourites.

First opened by the then Prime Minister Keith Holyoake in May 1962, Nestlé’s Cambria Park factory inherited its name from the US Military’s Army base, which occupied the site during World War II. At the opening address, Prime Minister Holyoake spoke of the importance of increasing New Zealand’s export earnings, and broadening our economic base. Nestlé’s Cambria Park factory rose to the occasion. Today the operation employs 320 people, produces 220 products from its manufacturing lines, and exports around $60 million of goods each year.

Initially the factory was established to produce Nescafé coffee for a nation of tea drinkers. Coffee’s popularity and production volumes have since increased and Nescafé is now the country’s leading coffee brand. Over the past 50 years, Cambria Park production has extended beyond the New Zealand market with recent years seeing specialised culinary and confectionery lines extend to offshore markets.

Today the Cambria Park site supplies local and international markets such as Australia, Japan and Pacific Islands with Maggi products, and also produces confectionary favorites such as Nestlé Scorched Almonds, Wonka twists, Oddfellows mints and Mackintosh toffees for the local market and Australia.

Maurice Gunnell, Head of Corporate Services at Nestlé says the factory has grown from humble beginnings producing the first Kiwi-made Nescafé with 50 staff to a thriving hub of our economy.

“We’re delighted to celebrate half a century of producing some of New Zealand’s most loved products. I’ve personally been involved with the site over the past 30 years, and have watched it develop to the factory it is today. We are proud of the high quality products produced at Cambria Park and of the contribution it has made to the New Zealand economy through employment, export earnings and to the community through our Creating Shared Value programmes which have supported the local community over the years”.

The Nestlé Community Environment Programme (NCEP) at Cambria Park has been running for the past nine years. The programme has invested over $200,000 and contributed to the planting of 15,000 trees along the Puhinui Stream, the installation of water tanks, compost and gardening systems in Weymouth Intermediate and Papatoetoe High School, and the development of the Tangaroa College school garden.

The Nestlé brand first arrived in New Zealand more than 130 years ago, when products were brought here in the luggage of European immigrants. Since then it has cemented itself and its products as staples in our pantries and as an important manufacturer, employer and contributor to the New Zealand economy and community.

Nestlé looks forward to a strong future for its Cambria Park factory. The management team acknowledges the contribution of staff, past and present, as well as the loyal consumers who have all helped shape the history of Nestlé.


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