Council open to Jaffa race return

Jaffas bound and skip down Baldwin St during the 2017 Cadbury Jaffa Race. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
The 2017 Cadbury Jaffa Race. Photo: ODT files.
Dunedin still has a taste for Jaffa racing, but it could be a steep road to the annual event returning.

Yesterday, Levin-based confectionery company RJ's announced the signing of a deal with Mondelez International to take over the manufacturing and production of Jaffas.

Initially, RJ's sister company, Darrell Lea, will make the confectionery in Sydney.

RJ's sales director Amy Law said the plan was to eventually bring production back to New Zealand.

If it did this, production would most likely be at its Levin factory, she said.

Bringing back Dunedin's annual race of Jaffas down Baldwin St was "definitely'' something the company would investigate, she said.

"It's such an iconic race. So if it's something that the Dunedin community want then absolutely we'll have a look at it.

"Levin is very, very flat, so not good for Jaffa racing. If we were going to look at it at all, you'd want to keep it at it's home which is in Dunedin.

"It just all depends on what support we would get to look at doing that.''

A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said it would be happy to discuss the potential for a Jaffa race with RJ's.

"It would be important to have input from Baldwin St residents if the race was to continue there.

"The council's events grants are contestable, and we would work with RJ's to outline the process for any application.''

One of the charities involved in the previous Jaffa race was the Make a Wish Foundation.

Its chief executive, Pam Elgar, said the event had been a "fantastic fundraising opportunity'' in the past.

"I think the race is a great thing for Dunedin.''

In May, Mondelez confirmed the closure of its Dunedin factory, which was then making its local New Zealand Cadbury's products.

RJ's will supply the first batch of Jaffas to the New Zealand market on October 22.

Mrs Law said they would taste the same as the ones now made by Mondelez.

"We have done blind taste tests and nobody could tell the difference.''

RJ's is producing the Jaffas under a licence agreement with Mondelez, and does not own the rights to the brand.


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