Medway Foods is pushing its quality credentials after its management buyout of three Canterbury Foods pastry and ingredients’ plants in January.

Chief executive Paul Ains-worth said Canterbury, which went into administration in January, had a reputation as a cheap manufacturer but that this was not the case and Medway was proving that current product quality was even better. “People didn’t understand or had lost touch with the company, but we’re showing off some new savoury pastry ranges and have had a really positive reception.”

He said it had not lost any of its wholesale or manufacturing customers since the sale and that it was constantly working to gain new business. However, despite its promise to keep all 200 staff employed, Ainsworth admitted that it had been forced to shed 15 jobs at its Whitstable plant due to cost pressures. “There has been a slowdown in the manufacturing sector and, if they’re not doing as much development, then we’re not supplying them with as much.”

Following news of the proposed sale of some of Northern Foods’ bakery businesses he said: “If the right thing came along we’d look at it.” But he noted that, in this instance, the deal would probably be “too big”.

Medway is expected to announce the results of a company review next month.