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Food firm steps in to produce visors

Mondelēz International, makers of the UK’s favourite snacks including Cadbury and Oreo, has joined forces with engineering company 3P innovation to help produce thousands of medical visors every day to protect front line NHS staff.

The food manufacturer is repurposing its 3D printing technology which is normally used to make chocolate sculptures at Bournville, the home of Cadbury, to help print the medical visors.

This builds on a fascinating history of Cadbury’s Bournville factory stepping in to help the nation in times of need, having set up Bournville Utilities Ltd in the 1940s to help make gas masks, jerricans, service respirators and aeroplane parts for Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers during WWII.

3P launched an industry wide initiative last week to bring together businesses and individuals who can help produce, assemble and distribute the visors to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and clinics across the UK.

Mondelēz is helping to produce the hard-plastic bands which connect the top and bottom of the visor. It has also invested money into the project so 3P can buy injection mould technology, which will mean the visors can be mass produced.

3P have already delivered the first visors, to a Warwickshire NHS clinic and will be scaling up their operations, with the aim of making and delivering up to 10,000 units every week.

Louise Stigant, UK MD at Mondelēz International, said: “The NHS and other frontline services are doing an incredible job and we want to support them wherever we can.

“I’m extremely proud that our research and food engineering teams have come up with a creative way to repurpose our chocolate making skills and technology, so we can make and print parts for the medical visors. By working in partnership with 3P and other businesses we can scale our operations and help protect those who are working so hard to protect us and beat coronavirus.”

Tom Bailey, managing director at 3P innovation, said: “We have now set up the production line and the finished products are on their way to end users.  Thanks to the generous support from Mondelez, we have purchased an injection moulding tool which is set to make a huge difference to the volumes we can produce.  We are now looking for ongoing funding, which is essential to make sure we can continue to purchase components and run the production lines.”

3P is appealing for other manufacturers and businesses with 3D printing technology and logistics services to support, so they can continue to make and supply the medical visors to more NHS workers and other frontline services such as care homes and prison staff. If you can help then please visit https://bit.ly/NHSvisors3P or email nhsvisors@3pinnovation.com 

Mondelēz is also contributing over £2m in the UK to help local communities, charities, foodbanks and people working in the NHS and other frontline services including:

Donating to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal which is providing vital information, advice and other services for people over 70 years. The donation builds on Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign which raised over £400,000 last year for Age UK, highlighting the issue of loneliness amongst Britain’s older generation.

Working with industry and both national and local charities to organise and distribute over two million products to communities across the country including Fareshare, Community Shop, frontline NHS and Trussell Trust foodbanks close to our locations.

Donating funds to the National Emergencies Trust and also GroceryAid to support colleagues working in the grocery industry and those across the food and drink supply chain.  

Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelez, added: “We have a rich history of supporting people, communities and businesses through the Cadbury Foundation and our network of national and local charity partners. 

“Coronavirus is impacting all our lives and that support is needed now more so than ever and our colleagues are going the extra mile to selflessly help others at what is an incredibly challenging time.”

Commenting on the Age UK donation, Laurie Boult, Age UK’s fundraising director said: “Thank you so much to Mondelez for their thoughtful support during this exceptionally challenging time. This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones.

“Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis. Thank you for making sure we can respond to the growing needs and unprecedented demand we’re seeing.”

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