Kraft directors could face questions from a Commons business select committee about their plans for Cadbury and its workers.
The decision to close the Somerdale factory in Keynsham, near Bristol – costing 400 jobs – was fiercely criticised by unions and the business secretary, Peter Mandelson. Kraft had earlier pledged that the plant would remain open.
Peter Luff, a Conservative MP and chairman of the business select committee, has now said he and his colleagues want to quiz Kraft on a number of issues concerning Cadbury, including jobs, the future of production in the UK and the US company’s plans for the Cadbury brand.
“There is something to be gained from getting Kraft to state categorically, in public and on the record their intentions towards Cadbury,” said Luff. He wants Kraft to send its top directors to an evidence session in early March.
“We are negotiating who they send, since we have no power to summon US witnesses,” he said. “But if I was an advisor to Kraft, I would tell them to send their most senior person.”
Unions, which are due to give evidence to the committee before the Kraft representatives, welcomed news of the inquiry by MPs, the Guardian reported.
Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for food and drink, said: “Both companies, but particularly Kraft, have many important questions they must answer to the people of this country, not least to 6,000 very anxious workers. For months Kraft has refused to come clean to either the workers or our government on its plans. The select committee must make sure they cannot slip scrutiny any longer.”