The Baxters annual Soup Challenge is under way, with pupils from four Moray high schools vying for top spot in the enterprise competition by creating, producing and marketing a new vegan soup.

Organised in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray, second year students from Milne’s High School, Buckie High School, Elgin Academy and Speyside High School, are currently taking part in the Baxters Soup Challenge to get a true taste of various business and enterprise disciplines.

The challenge incorporates various key school subjects, including business, home economics and music, with pupils tasked with developing soup recipes and producing samples, to creating advertising jingles and determining the cost of production. With the vegan industry continuing to flourish, each team will need to consider what will make their vegan soup creation stand out from those already on the supermarket shelves.

As part of the eight-stage challenge, semi-finalists from each of the schools recently attended a workshop at UHI Moray where they received guidance from Baxters’ experts and representatives from DYW Moray to help fine-tune their concepts before the final, which takes place on 23 May. The winning team will see a small run of their vegan soup produced at Baxters’ Fochabers factory.

Working with DYW Moray, Baxters is aiming to continue to inspire and attract the next generation of talent, whilst giving them a flavour for the breadth of opportunities and job avenues that are available within food manufacturing.

Graeme Morrison, Baxters’ European Supply Chair Director, said: ‘The Baxters Soup Challenge provides a unique opportunity for young people to experience the world of food manufacturing first hand and the many varied disciplines involved. As a local business and major employer in the area, we are delighted to work in partnership with our local high schools and DYW Moray on this fantastic initiative.”

Sarah Barnes at Developing the Young Workforce Moray said: “DYW strive to create new and develop existing employer relationships to enhance the curricular offer in schools and positively influence the young people of Moray’s future career destination. We are delighted to be able to work with Baxters on this superb Soup Challenge and help them shine a light on the variety of different job avenues that are available.”

Coleen MacKenzie at Milne’s High School has said: “We are honoured to be involved in such a fun and insightful project from Baxters and DYW Moray. Our experience over the years is that the initiative provides a rare opportunity for our pupils to leverage a broad range of subjects within the curriculum into a real-life, practical enterprise activity and they have enjoyed fantastic benefits as a result.”

Baxters and DYW Moray have worked with Milne’s High School on the Soup Challenge for a number of years, with 2022 being the first year it has been expanded to involve other local high schools.