Heart of food firm will ‘always remain in Moray’

Audrey Baxter with the tartan commissioned for 150th anniversary

Handout pic
Audrey Baxter with the tartan commissioned for 150th anniversary Handout pic

The boss of food giant Baxters has said the company’s heart will “always remain in Moray” despite its move to Edinburgh in the last year.

Audrey Baxter, who announced the move at the end of 2017, said it had enhanced the profile of the firm established in Fochabers 150 years ago.

Now a worldwide operation, Baxters employs more than 400 people at its plant on the banks of the river Spey on the outskirts of the Moray village.

The opening of the new corporate headquarters in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square saw group functions relocated there, including legal, sales, human resources and some finance activities.

They had previously been carried out in Glasgow for a number of years and the move did not result in the loss of any jobs in Fochabers.

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Group chairman Ms Baxter, the fourth generation of her family to head the firm, said: “A year after moving into our corporate head office in Edinburgh, there is little doubt that this has enhanced the profile of the group and broadened the pool of recruitment talent available.

“This should stand the group in good stead as it develops further internationally through a combination of organic growth and investment.”

She added: “I live in Moray and I am a Fochabarian. The heart of the business will always be in Moray. But it did not make sense trying to run a global company in Fochabers.”

Ms Baxter, who took over as managing director of the company from her father Gordon in 1992, made the comments recently as the group released annual results for the year to the end of March, showing its pre-tax profits had leapt more than 70% to £15.1 million compared to the previous 12 months.

The company also revealed it was preparing to stockpile items amid fears supplies from European companies could be hit by a no-deal Brexit.

Baxters dates back to 1868 and Ms Baxter’s great-grandfather George.