THE president of the Baxters Food Group, Gordon Baxter, has died at the age of 95.
Mr Baxter helmed the company for half-a-century, expanding the humble food production business into a world-known brand, renowned for soups, jams and other products of the finest quality.
Appointed OBE for services to exports in 1968, he was made a CBE in 2010 in recognition of his services to business and charity in the north-east.
Since 2002, he chaired the Baxters Foundation, a charitable body which has given more than £800,000 to good causes to date.
In 2008, Mr Baxter was given the honour of the Freedom of Moray by the people of his native county.
Born and brought up in Fochabers, Mr Baxter joined his family’s food-making business in 1946 at a time when it employed 11 people with annual sales of £44,000. Today, it employs over 1,300 people and has sales of more than £125 million.
A spokesman for the Baxter family said Mr Baxter died peacefully, surrounded by his family on Friday evening.
He said: "Mr Baxter became an iconic Scottish business figure during his tenure of the world famous Fochabers based family business. He passed over control to his daughter Audrey Baxter, the fourth generation of the family to run the business, in 1992.
"When Mr Baxter returned to Baxters after the war, the year he came back the business had only 11 employees and a turnover of £44,000. Over the years, with his brother and their wives, they worked tirelessly to build the foundations of a business that grew over many years achieving great success."
A private family funeral will be held later this week. A memorial service, to which all will be welcome, will be held later in the year in Fochabers.
A full tribute to a man considered as one of the foremost ambassadors of the Scottish food and drink industry will be printed in this week’s ‘Scot’.