Baxters said it planned to start immediately a period of consultation with affected employees at Fochabers that could impact up to 80 roles over two years. The site currently employs up to 700 employees throughout the year, compared with manufacturer’s global workforce of 1,500.
Strategic growth plan
Baxters said its manufacturing transformation programme was one of several new initiatives to be confirmed as part of its strategic growth plan to ensure a sustainable future. It said that the group planned to meet the challenging demands of a “volatile retail trading market” with a step change in profitability through operational transformation across all its production units.
The programme will be rolled out across its European business, starting at the Fochabers site. It estimated the full implementation of the programme at Fochabers would take two years to complete. Included in the programme was investment in the skills base of its Fochabers employees, to implement the training required to carry out “lean manufacturing practices”, the company said.
‘Need to improve performance’
Audrey Baxter, executive chairman and group ceo, 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 company has expanded significantly over the past few years and now operates at eight sites across four countries in three continents. The business has a global turnover of more than £300M.
Meanwhile, lean and green food manufacturing was the subject of the Food Manufacture Group’s recent free, one-hour webinar with representatives from Greencore, Marks & Spencer and Lauras International. After registering for the webinar, you can listen at any time.
Baxters’ ‘external challenges’
- Difficult trading conditions
- Squeeze on margins
- Food deflation
- Aggressive promotional activity
- Overall category decline reflecting change in consumer tastes