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Unilever to close Colman’s mustard factory in Norwich, UK

FBR Staff Writer Published 05 January 2018

Consumer goods company Unilever will close its Colman’s mustard factory in Norwich, UK in 2019, a move that will affect 113 jobs.

Last year, British soft drink manufacturer Britvic, which co-owns the Norwich site with Unilever, had announced a move to shut down its factory.

Unilever has now followed suit having come to a similar decision through a review launched in October 2017.

Britvic’s decision is reported to have serious implications on Unilever in continuing with production at the Norwich site.

Production of Colman’s Mustard, which has been done at the Norwich facility for over 160 years, is expected to be moved to other UK sites of the company that include Burton upon Trent.

Unilever’s Burton on Trent location, which manufactures Bovril and Marmite, would see 43 new production roles created after a part of the Norwich production is moved to it.

On the other hand, Colman’s Mustard packaging will be shifted to a Unilever facility in Germany.

Unilever also plans to have a new facility in Norwich for production and packing of Colman’s mustard powder, mustard milling and mint processing. About 25 jobs are expected to be created through this facility with the company to continue sourcing mint and mustard locally.

UK trade union Unite has urged Unilever to relook at its decision to close the Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich.

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: “It is a devastating day for Norwich that the production of Colman’s Mustard will cease production in 2019, ending a tradition stretching back two centuries.

“We are urging Unilever to look again at its business case for closure. The decision last month by Britvic to close its half of the site, which produces its Robinsons and Fruit Shoot brands, was unhelpful for the future of Colman’s Mustard in Norwich – but we still don’t believe that closure is the only option for the dedicated workforce.”

Unite revealed that through its consultations with Unilever, it will try to get as many skilled jobs as possible retained at the site and to see that there are no compulsory redundancies.

Image: Unilever’s Colman's Mustard 3.53oz bottle. Photo: courtesy of Gryffindor/Commons.wikimedia.org.