80 jobs threatened with the axe at Baxters

UP to 80 jobs could be axed at famous Scottish food firm Baxters.

Nearly 80 jobs could go at the Fochabers headquarters. Picture: Google

The company wants to become more efficient to help it respond to global competition.

As part of the streamlining process, the firm is looking at cutting dozens of posts at its Moray headquarters.

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Up to 80 jobs out of 700 could go at their headquarters in Fochabers.

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The firm has now started a consultation process with staff which could lead to redundancy. It could take up to two years for changes to be implemented.

The firm said it was creating a manufacturing transformation programme across its global operations as part of several new initiatives delivered to ensure a “sustainable future”.

The company has expanded significantly over the last few years and now operates at eight sites across four countries with a global turnover in excess of £300 million.

Audrey Baxter, executive chairman and group chief executive, said: “We need to improve the performance of our European business by developing more efficient production units and improving market share of our products.

“We must respond to ongoing external challenges such as difficult trading conditions, squeeze on margins, food deflation, aggressive promotional activity and overall category decline reflecting change in consumer tastes.

“In order to do this we will invest and improve the skills of our people and apply good manufacturing and commercial practices to maximise our efficiencies to maintain our position as a world leading manufacturer of premium products.

“The plans we are now embarking on are essential to make Baxters a stronger manufacturing group for the future, enhancing its position as one of Scotland’s much loved family businesses spanning a heritage of nearly 150 years.”

The family firm was set up in 1868 and has been run by the Baxters for four generations. Former teacher Ena Baxter, her husband Gordon and his brother Ian helped turn it into one of the UK’s best known brand names.

Ena created recipes for the soups, sauces, chutneys and jams in a small experimental kitchen in the Baxters factory, also turning her hand to designing new labels for products.

She died in 2015, two years after her husband passed away.