Walter Scott has been promoted to joint managing director of jam-maker Wilkin & Sons following the retirement of former joint MD Peter Wilkin.

Scott takes up the position in January, working alongside Ian Thurgood.

He joined the family-run company 22 years ago as factory manager and in 1992 became production director with overall control for the range of 100 products made at the Tiptree jam factory.

Scott began his career as a graduate trainee at Cadbury Schweppes and developed his skill in jam-making with another company before joining Wilkin & Sons in 1985.

Peter Wilkin is stepping down as joint MD in January but will remain as chairman. This follows the retirement of former director Peter Cook, who left in July after 45 years with the company but remains as a non-executive director.

The family company was founded in 1885 and now holds royal warrants for both preserves and marmalades.

It owns about 1,000 acres in and around Tiptree comprising fruit orchards, a factory and small museum and an old-fashioned tearoom and jam shop. In addition, the company provides homes on the property for the two managing directors and housing for two-thirds of its employees.

Four out of 10 jars that leave the factory are sold overseas, with major export markets including the US, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Spain and Israel.

"At Tiptree, we have always ensured the quality, taste and traditional methods of production remain constant," said Scott. "In the past 20 years there has been a remarkable increase in volume and we have expanded the ranges of jams, marmalades, sauces and Christmas puddings to meet UK and overseas demand. I am looking forward to working with Ian and the challenges ahead."