If you are an Australian human whose digestive system can handle dairy, then you have definitely at one point in your life chowed down on a Weis bar. You know, one of these:
The ice-cream bars, which are pretty much synonymous with Queensland summer and getting delicious mango-flavoured slime smeared all over your parents’ car, have been made in Toowoomba for the last 50 years. The iconic bar was first created by Toowoomba bloke Les Weis, and sold in his corner store in the same town.
However, two years ago the Weis family sold the brand to corporation Unilever – who promised to keep production in Toowoomba.
One guess as to how that promise has held up.
Yep, Unilever announced yesterday that they’d be moving production of Weis ice cream from the Queensland factory to New South Wales, and taking 93 jobs out of the town with them.
The Weis family are, understandably, royally pissed off.
Former managing director of the Toowoomba factory Julie Weis told the Courier Mail:
Keeping the manufacturing local and the jobs was our number one priority in the sale. That did not mean it could never happen, but it is only two years [after the sale].
This is a sad day for us.
For their part, Unilever has said they “did not anticipate” having to move production out of Toowoomba, but apparently the ice cream market has changed drastically in the last couple of years.
The company told the media:
This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we recognise that this announcement will affect everyone on site at Toowoomba as well as the local community.
We have spoken to the Weis family and we appreciate their deep disappointment, and we understand this is not something they would have foreseen when they sold the business to Unilever.
We are committed to providing consumers with the same exceptional Weis products with the same high-quality natural ingredients. Queensland will also remain a very important part of the Weis brand, and we will continue to support businesses and farmers throughout the State by retaining local fruit sourcing.
We’ll see.Source: News.com.au