Consumer goods giant Unilever is considering the future of its Colman’s Mustard production site in the UK city of Norwich.

Unilever said one option is the facility’s “potential closure”.  

The company is expected to consult with 113 employees at the site with a final decision being made by the end of November.

Trade union Unite, which has members working at the site, said it will be seeking reassurance from Unilever about the factory’s future.

Colman’s – which has been a major employer in the city for more than 200 years – shares the Norfolk site with soft drinks brand Robinson’s, which is owned by Britvic.

Britvic has announced that it is to cease production there, which has prompted Unilever to announce a review about the future of its Colman’s business on the site.

In a statement issued today (3 October), Unilever said: “Following Britvic’s announcement that it is proposing to close its manufacturing site in Norwich, Unilever will be launching a review of its production which is co-located at the site.
“Britvic and Unilever’s operations have been uniquely intertwined at the site for many years, relying on a shared infrastructure. Although no decisions have been made, we need to recognise that Britvic’s proposed withdrawal would have serious implications for Unilever in Norwich.
“The review will look in detail at the impact of Britvic’s proposed withdrawal from the site and will consider options for the most effective sourcing of the current Norwich product range. One of those options will include the potential closure of our Norwich factory.

“We’re committed to treating our employees and suppliers fairly, and providing support during this difficult time.”

Unite said Britvic’s announcement has “serious implications” for the future of Colman’s. It said it will be seeking assurances and applying pressure to ensure production remains in Norwich.

Rhys McCarthy, Unite’s national officer, said: “Unilever has today announced a review of the whole site to be concluded by the end of November.

“Everything is up for review including expanding its operations, selling part of the site and, more worryingly, closure.

“The whole of Norfolk needs to come together to fight for the future of Colman’s mustard that is so identified with the city of Norwich. Colman’s is in the DNA of the city.”