Published: Thu, October 05, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Nearly 250 jobs to go as Britvic closes its Robinsons factory

Nearly 250 jobs to go as Britvic closes its Robinsons factory

The consultation at Britvic - which makes Robinsons and Fruit Shoots at the site - is to begin shortly, with 242 jobs at risk of being cut in 2019.

Unilever acknowledged that Britvic's move "would have serious implications" for its own interests, including potential closure.

Britvic's Carrow Works site, which also houses Unilever's Colman's Mustard factory, is part of a long history of food and drink production in the city going back more than 200 years.

"Unilever has today announced a review of the whole site to be concluded by the end of November".

'Britvic and Unilever's operations have been uniquely intertwined at the site for many years, relying on a shared infrastructure.

The company, which has 113 employees in Norwich, said it recognised Colman's Norwich heritage and would work to retain that link whatever the outcome of the review.

The move is part of a three-year efficiency drive that involves investing £240m in its United Kingdom manufacturing base.

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Britvic said the aim was to improve efficiency and productivity and the plans would see the site close towards the end of 2019.

"No decisions will be made prior to full and proper consultation with employees and our focus is on ensuring we offer our colleagues on-going support and assistance throughout this hard time".

Britain's biggest trade union, Unite, said it was furious with the news.

"However the changes we are proposing today present significant productivity and efficiency savings in our manufacturing operations, deliver environmental benefits and, coupled with our ongoing investment programme in our GB manufacturing operations, ensure that we have the flexibility and capability we need to respond to changing consumer trends faster and more efficiently".

"Unite will not only be seeking assurances, but applying pressure with the support of the local community, that the production and the much-needed jobs that are vital for the Norwich economy remain". "Colman's is in the DNA of the city", he said.

Unilever confirmed on Tuesday that it was reviewing its production of Colman's Mustard at a manufacturing site in Norwich shared by Britvic, which announced earlier that it was closing its drinks business there.

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