Helping British Farmers
for nearly 200 Years
When you choose Unilever, you help create a bright future. Eating responsibly sourced products, like Colman’s mustard, means preserving hundreds of years of farming heritage…
In 2007, an abysmal harvest threatened to bring an end to the British Mustard Market. The English Mustard Growers co-operative (EMG) was formed to preserve the heritage of the English mustard seed and the farmers who have grown it for hundreds of years.
Like many other members of the English Mustard Growers co-operative, the Bliss family has been growing mustard for Colman’s for over 100 years. Since Unilever and UK growers formed EMG, local farmers are now benefiting from high levels of security and control, alongside increased knowledge and improved organisation. Greg Bliss says that “Since we came together to save the crop, Unilever has been supportive and surprised at how quickly we have moved forward.”
A bright future has already begun
Bliss is now joined by more local farmers, as the EMG has increased from eleven to seventeen growers, who now produce over 1,200 tonnes of mustard every year, exclusively for Unilever.
When Unilever bought Colman’s of Norwich in 1995, 100% of mustard seeds were sourced from Canada, driven by cost, superior quality and availability of seed. To preserve the heritage of the product and support local growers, Unilever made the decision to move sourcing back to the UK. As Bob Walpole, Unilever UK’s dry foods and crops manager explained, ‘it’s English Mustard, so we ought to be trying to grow and buy as much English seed as we can.’
Years later, the English Mustard Market is alive and thriving. ‘It’s not putting it too strongly to say that the English Mustard Growers co-operative has rescued the English mustard crop, and although Unilever is a multinational, it still feels like we deal with a local family business.’ Michael Sly, Acting Chairman of EMG.
Next time you’re enjoying a Sunday Roast with your family, savour the taste of Colman’s English Mustard knowing it has been made with sustainably sourced English Mustard Seed from farmers like Michael and Greg at EMG.
To learn more on the work done by Unilever and the Colman’s mustard farmers, follow this link to BBC Radio 4.