Time is running out to back Norwich Mustard campaign

Robert Ashton, left, and Steve Morphew, who together want to launch Norwich Mustard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Robert Ashton, left, and Steve Morphew, who together want to launch Norwich Mustard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

There are just hours left for people to back a co-operative bid to preserve Norwich’s mustard-making tradition – and get their hands on a pot of city’s hottest new condiment.

Norwich Mustard supporters have already pledged more than 95% of its £6,000 target, which it will use to formally set up the business and develop a business plan.

More than 140 people have chipped in towards the total and a farmer has also offered to grow the mustard seed necessary, meaning that the co-operative will be able to produce, bottle and sell Norwich Mustard later this year.

Entrepreneur Robert Ashton, who is leading the campaign with county councillor Steve Morphew, said Norwich Mustard was “gathering momentum”.

“Since featuring on the front page of the Norwich Evening News, we’ve had lots of offers of help,” said Mr Ashton

“Colman’s pensioners have offered invaluable advice; we’ve identified a source of the right kind of mustard seed and a Norfolk farmer has agreed to grow some this year.

“This means we really can put some bottles of Norwich Mustard on the table this autumn.”

The idea for Norwich Mustard was born when Unilever confirmed that it would be withdrawing Colman’s from the factory it had occupied at Carrow Works for 160 years, leaving only 25 members of staff at a new milling facility near Norwich.

READ MORE: Norwich Mustard: New campaign wants YOUR support to continue city’s proud history

Mr Ashton and Mr Morphew hope to establish the company as a co-operative and a share issue in the coming weeks will allow people to own a part of it. A board of directors will then be elected from the membership, who will set its future direction.

Though the first batches of mustard will be produced by third parties, the pair hope that the co-operative can eventually find its own premises and branch out into other premium products, with the hope of creating new jobs.

“It’s putting a bit of Norwich back where it belongs: it’s a statement of pride on behalf of the city,” said Mr Morphew when the project was launched.

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