Smith takes top SWA job

Colin Smith (centre) snapped up the Entrepreneur Award at the 2015 Scottish Grocer Awards.

SCOTTISH independent retailing stalwart Colin Smith has been appointed chief executive of the Scottish Wholesale Association, with current executive director Kate Salmon set to step down in the autumn after 35 years with the association.

Smith will bring 20 years of wholesale sector experience to the role, with career highlights including a stint as Scottish regional manager for Bestway’s symbol group Best-one and the launch of his own retail business, Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh.

The retailer, who will take up his new position on 23 July, has said meeting with members and forging closer relationships with suppliers will be an early priority.

He said: “Wholesale provides suppliers with an excellent opportunity to tap into the strong route to market that our members’ independent retail and foodservice customers offer. I want to get that message across loud and clear and I also want to hear their views so we can tailor our offer to specific sectors of our wholesale membership.”

Outgoing director Kate Salmon said: ‘I am delighted that we have attracted an individual of Colin’s calibre.

“Colin will work with our members, suppliers and partners to drive the association forward and ensure that we are the forefront of discussions and debates around all the issues affecting the wholesale industry. Our collaborative approach will ensure that our members’ views are relayed to key decision-makers, giving us a louder voice at Holyrood and in the wider food and drink industry.”