Unilever and Condimentum, a newly formed consortium of mint and mustard growers in Norfolk, have confirmed their long-term partnership with a ground-breaking ceremony this week (14 May 2019).
This unique partnership means that Unilever will support the establishment of Condimentum with an initial 10-year supply agreement and significant capital investment into their new state-of-the-art mustard and mint milling facility at the Norfolk Food Enterprise Park at Honingham Thorpe near Norwich. The ceremony today celebrates this partnership and marks the beginning of the facility’s construction, which is due to be completed in by the end of 2019.
Following Britvic’s decision to close its Norwich factory on the shared site, Unilever confirmed in March 2018 that it would close its Colman’s factory at the end of 2019, with the production and packing of Colman’s mustard powder and mint processing planned to move to the new milling facility, maintaining the area’s historic link to the iconic British brand.
The new facility will supply milled mustard flour and blended mint for Colman’s condiments and pack their mustard powder into various packs in the range. Unilever will continue to source mustard and mint from growers in the local area, as it has done for more than five generations.
With the support of Unilever’s investment, Condimentum will equip the purpose-built facility with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment helping to attract future investment and support growth of the local farming economy.
Jon Strachan, VP Supply Chain, Unilever UK & Ireland, said: “Colman’s Mustard has had a strong link to Norfolk for generations and we are absolutely committed to maintaining this relationship. We’re delighted to have finalised our partnership with Condimentum today and to celebrate their new facility. We look forward to working closely together, supporting the new consortium to maintain local supply and scale the area’s renowned farming industry.”
David Martin, Chief Executive of Condimentum said: “The Condimentum business was built by the growers and we are very proud of our unique trading history and association with the brand. Our supply partnership with Colman’s extends to well over a century. We are delighted to be building a new facility, the only one of its kind in Europe, that will ensure the traditional milling of mustard is retained in Norwich. This will result in the creation of jobs in the local area and will provide the opportunity for the growers to build a business that the region can be proud of.”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said: “There is a great legacy with Colman’s in Norwich and this can now continue with new premises and state-of-the-art production lines. Investing in Condimentum will secure existing jobs, support business growth and enable it to supply Unilever with quality products.
“Local growers have been supplying mint and mustard seeds to Colman’s for over 100 years so there is a great connection, history and heritage that can carry on. Norfolk and Suffolk have excellent agricultural strengths that are the foundations of the innovation that is taking place at Norwich Research Park. The new Food Enterprise Park at Honingham will benefit from these links and will put Condimentum in good stead for the future.”