Acquisition by Baxters will be recipe for job creation

SCOTTISH soup and jam maker Baxters took a bite out of the tinned pie market yesterday by buying canned meat producer Fray Bentos.

The Fochabers-based business – led by chairwoman Audrey Baxter, the fourth generation of her family to run the firm – said it will move production of the famous pies from a factory in Lincolnshire to its base in Moray.

Baxters is now entering discussions with staff at Fray Bentos to find out how many might transfer to Scotland.

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The firm remained tight-lipped about how much it had paid for the pie company but said the deal would result in a major investment at its factory and many jobs being created. Local politicians hailed the deal as “fantastic” news for area’s economy, which was put under pressure after the coalition government closed RAF Kinloss.

Angus Robertson, SNP MP for Moray, said: “Baxters has resisted a multitude of takeovers over the years and made a number of key acquisitions of well-known heritage food brands that have cemented its own reputation.

“I’m very pleased to hear this will bring a significant number of jobs to Fochabers.”

Fray Bentos, whose pies were a cornerstone of family feasts in the 1960s and 1970s, was founded in 1899, while Baxters traces its roots back to 1868.