Marmite factory to be assessed
Christchurch's Marmite factory will be assessed this afternoon to see whether it is fit for public use.
Production of the popular spread was suspended in March after earthquake damage to a cooling tower at Sanitarium's Papanui factory rendered the nearby Marmite building unsafe.
Sanitarium has continuously pushed back the date that production would restart and has been waiting on a certificate for public use from the city council.
However, the company hopes the end may finally be in sight.
A council spokeswoman told The Press a building inspector would assess the factory this afternoon.
He started his inspection on November 30 and hoped to finish the process today or tomorrow.
Sanitarium is crossing its fingers it will be the last step before its code of compliance is approved.
"At this stage, if no unforeseen issues arise, we anticipate having our council approval by Friday, 14 December," a post on the company's Facebook page said.
"As you can imagine, it's a big job to ensure that the site is safe and meets the new building and safety standards."
However, that would be only the beginning of getting Marmite back on shelves.
Sanitarium said the approval would allow them formal access to start reviewing the plant's functionality.
Further testing would be needed, involving pumping water through all the production pipes to check the seals.
"If all goes well, we can then start making bulk stock,'' the company said.
''Once we have enough bulk stock, it then has to be blended to achieve our unique Marmite flavour that Kiwis love. The next step will be to pack stock to get Marmite back on shelf."