• The Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury Australia (SBS)Source: SBS
Even if you’re a Cherry Ripe or Caramello Koala superfan, you'll be amazed by how Cadbury chocolate is actually made here.
Audrey Bourget

8 Apr 2020 - 11:42 AM  UPDATED 1 Oct 2020 - 9:02 AM

Easter is the busiest time of the year at Cadbury, which produces 477 million eggs and 14.6 million bunnies for the holiday. Before we take you on a tour of the Australian factory this weekend, here are a few things that every chocolate lover should know.

Cadbury opened its first overseas factory in Australia

Cadbury was founded in England in the 1800s by John Cadbury. In 1922, the company opened its first overseas factory in Tasmania. The brand chose a site in Claremont, just outside Hobart, because of the quality of the milk and hydro-electricity potential in the area. In 1967, Cadbury acquired the MacRobertson’s factory in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood.

The sugar in your chocolate bar comes from Queensland

Sugar from Queensland is one of the main ingredients of Cadbury chocolate. In Mackay, the sugar capital of Australia, the cane is fed into rollers, which squeeze out the juice that is then reduced to sugar crystals. The discarded fibre, or bagasse, is burned to produce electricity for the sugar mill. The sugar travels over 2000 km from Mackay to Melbourne.

And the milk comes from Tassie

Cadbury has been sourcing its milk from Tasmania since the 1920s. The milk is concentrated and pasteurised in Burnie. Almost 80,000 litres of milk is collected from the plant every day, and transported to the original Cadbury Australia factory near Hobart.

“Crumb” gives the chocolate its unique flavour

The milk from Tasmania, sugar from Queensland, and cocoa from Ghana are mixed, roasted, dried and rolled to produce what is called “crumb”. Invented by George Cadbury in 1905, it’s the base that gives all Cadbury products their flavour. 27,000 tonnes of crumb are produced each year. Some are loaded onto a ship to Melbourne, and some are exported to New Zealand, Malaysia, and Pakistan.

Melbourne, where the magic happens

In Melbourne, the crumb goes through several processes, including refining, conching, and tempering, before becoming chocolate. Bars with fillings like Crunchie and Cherry Ripe have to go through an extra enrobing process. The Cadbury warehouses in Melbourne can hold up to 1.4 million cartons of chocolate.

Cadbury Australia has a diverse workforce

In 1922, the first Cadbury workers sent from Britain to Tasmania included 16 women. In the 1960s, women made up most of the Cadbury workforce. Some of the first workers came were from Italy, Greece, China and Southeast Asia. Now, Cadbury Australia employs 2000 workers from all around the world.

Supplying the army during World War II

Cadbury was the official chocolate supplier for the Australian army during World War II. A specially designed formula meant that the chocolate, which was sent in brown paper, wouldn’t melt in the heat or during travel.

Cadbury was the official chocolate supplier for the Australian army during World War II.

An Aussie favourite

It seems that Australians love a good classic since the Cadbury Dairy Milk is the most popular chocolate across the country. In Europe and the United States, dark chocolate is preferred. But the Cherry Ripe, with its cherry and coconut centre covered in dark chocolate, is also an Aussie favourite. Invented by MacRobertson’s in 1924, it’s the country’s oldest chocolate bar. Freddo Frog, Snack and Old Gold were also made by MacRoberton’s before Cadbury took over.

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Watch The Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury Australia on Sunday October 4 at 9.30pm on SBS Food (Ch.33) and the via SBS On Demand after broadcast.

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