Foggitt Jones & Co. set up their business in 1904, buying an existing bacon factory at Oxley, south west of Brisbane. Their Rex brand became well known throughout Australia, with camp pie being one of their most famous products. In 1927 the company merged with competitor, Huttons, and after Jones died in 1946 the Foggitt Jones brand was dropped.
In 1904, the Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser notified its readers that Foggitt Jones & Co. had bought the Oxley bacon curing works and would soon be accepting pigs from local farmers. The partners, Charles Emanuel Foggitt and Thomas Llewellyn Jones, had both worked for J. C. Hutton, a ham and bacon company founded in Melbourne in 1873 and operating north of Brisbane since 1889.
The Oxley Ham and Bacon Factory had been established in 1894, but had encountered financial difficulties prior to the Foggitt Jones purchase. The new partners wasted no time in turning the operation around. By 1906 they were producing hams, bacon, Strassburg and other sausages and were widely advertising their new product: Ham Paté. The following year saw pigs’ feet, pig’s brawn and pork sausage added to the range, all “guaranteed pure pork” with no preservatives.
Within five years Foggitt Jones had a turnover of more than £1 million and also had a bacon factory in Freemantle, later moving to a new facility at Bellvue, east of Perth. Factories were later opened in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. By 1916 the range included ham pate, veal and tongue pate, pigs’ feet, camp pie, pork and beans, pork brawn, Lorraine sausages, pork sausages, pork and veal Fritz and luncheon cheese (an early form of cheese spread).
In the 1920s Foggitt Jones were involved in the long running “Camp Pie Case” over a trademark dispute with a competitor, the Darling Downs Co-Operative. Charles Foggitt died in 1926 and the following year the company amalgamated with their old employer, Hutton’s, forming a holding company called United Provisions Limited. Both brands continued in the marketplace until Jones died in 1946, when the Foggitt Jones name was abandoned and the company continued as Huttons.
Huttons enjoyed considerable popularity through the 1950s and ’60s, continuing with its well-known slogan “Don’t argue – Hutton’s is best”. The canned hams were heavily promoted and in the 1960s the company introduced Hutton’s Footy Franks. Since 2008 the Footy Franks, Hutton’s and “Don’t Argue” trademarks have been owned by George Weston Foods Limited which owns DON smallgoods.
After skirmishes with Ron Brierley’s investment group in the takeover madness of the early 1980s, Hutton’s sold its Australian operations to meat processors Tancred Bros. in 1984. The Oxley processing works was closed in 1992. The building that housed the Foggitt Jones cheese works in Brisbane is now heritage listed.