£6m biscuit boom is a boost for confectioner

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Sweet success is in the baking at a Sheffield sweet factory - with the opening of a £6 million production line to manufacture Oreo and BelVita biscuits in the UK for the first time.

The expansion at the Trebor Bassett factory in Owlerton has been made by parent company Mondelēz International, formerly Kraft Foods, and was launched jointly by Nick Clegg and David Blunkett.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP joined with his fellow politician, who represents Brightside and Hillsborough, to launch the production line yesterday.

Maurizio Brusadelli, Mondelēz president for the UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to officially open the new Oreo line at Sheffield which clearly signals the importance of the UK as a manufacturing base for us.

“We know that Britain is a nation of biscuit lovers – it is currently the biggest biscuit market in EU.

“In addition, our Sheffield factory is currently the largest sugar confectionery plant in Europe, and our employees here have the manufacturing expertise we need to turn their hands from sweets to biscuits.

“This investment is a first step - we hope to follow it with further investment and innovation in biscuits.”

Ian Dearn, head of manufacturing at the Sheffield site, added: “Our Sheffield site has been producing much-loved brands for over one hundred years, so we are proud to have been selected to manufacture Oreo in the UK for the first time.

“The investment is important in the local community.

“It will not only add another string to our manufacturing bow, but also give us the opportunity to create new partnerships with local suppliers for ingredients.”

The new line is capable of producing over one million Oreo choclate biscuits in 24 hours and safeguards 70 jobs.

Belvita breakfast biscuits will start to be made later in the year.

Mr Clegg said: “Bringing the Oreo biscuit production line to the UK for the first time is great news for Sheffield and adds Oreos to the global brands we proudly tag ‘Made in Sheffield’.

“This investment is a huge boost for the city and the UK.”

Mr Blunkett added: “It’s good to see this investment by Mondelēz International in the area, which will undoubtedly help maintain Sheffield’s position as a premier manufacturing city.

“The additional investment and commitment to training are particularly welcome at a time of such uncertainty for our economy.”