Norwich’s famous Colman’s mustard factory has finally confirmed its closure in 2019, after months of consideration to move the factory out of the city.
Despite 160 years of production in Norwich, the famous site for mustard making will be shutting next year. Plans to shut the factory were revealed in January by the parent company Unilever, who currently employs 113 people at the factory.
However, fears of the closure had circulated since October last year when Britivic, who share the site in Carrow with Colman’s, announced they would be leaving and transferring the production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot elsewhere in the country.
Employees based at the Norwich factory are at a high risk of redundancy, with only 40 roles expected to move to a new production site based in Burton-on-Trent. There will be a transition period as factory production moves from Norwich to Burton and Germany in the autumn.
Unilever has revealed there are plans to open a milling facility of the production and packing of Colman’s mustard powder near Norwich, in keeping with Norwich’s mustard roots. Home to Norfolk since 1814, it is sad news to all of Norwich’s mustard lovers, but particularly local famers.
Many of its workers have been at the factory for decades; some of the current farmers being fifth generation Colman’s mustard seed growers.
Jon Strachan who works for Unilever UK & Ireland, said the decision “represents the best long-term solution for Colman’s production, whilst preserving the historic link with Norwich”.
He further reassured that Unilever would offer the affected employees a “comprehensive package of support, including discussing redeployment opportunities at other sites and providing services to help people find new employment.”