Colman’s Mustard: A devastating loss for the city of Norwich

PUBLISHED: 10:20 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 05 January 2018

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever.

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

The label says it all: Colman’s of Norwich.

The association once seemed unbreakable: Colman’s meant Norwich, and Norwich meant Colman’s.

Yet owner Unilever’s review of its factory threw that into doubt – and the 11,000 signatures on our petition to keep the jobs in Norwich showed the weight of affection for the brand.

MORE: Norwich Colman’s Mustard factory to close with production moving out of Norfolk

The final decision has been described by one union as a curate’s egg – good in parts.

And there are positives to the outcome of the review: the historical tie between Colman’s and Norwich will be maintained, at least some jobs will remain, and key suppliers will work even more closely with Colman’s and Unilever.

MORE: Colman’s departure will break a Norwich factory link dating back 160 years

Yet that cannot over-ride the human impact of the dozens of well-paid jobs lost through production being moved to Germany and the Midlands.

And a feeling persists that more could have been done to entice Unilever, and indeed its site partner Britvic to stay. Those are questions which will need to be faced up to in the coming days.

The loss of this factory – added to job losses at Britvic, BAE, Multiyork and possibly the Construction Industry Training Board – will send reverberations through the region’s economy.

MORE: Remembering our campaign to keep Colman’s in Norwich

The fear is that too many more destabilising shocks could deter potential employers from placing their trust, and investing their futures, in our region.

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