Prizes galore at Achievers

Scottish wholesale sector celebrates

SWA winners
Wholesale victory: firms from across Scotland gathered for a night of celebration.

SCOTLAND’s top wholesalers gathered in the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh, last month to celebrate success at the Scottish Wholesale Achievers Awards.

Now in its 19th year, the Scottish Wholesale Association’s annual awards ceremony recognises excellence across the wholesale sector.

A total of 17 awards were up for grabs at the ceremony, hosted by BBC Scotland presenter Amy Irons. Gongs were awarded across retail, foodservice, tech and community-focused categories.

Over 400 people attended the event, including Scottish Government cabinet secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes.

SWA chief executive Colin Smith thanked Forbes for her engagement with the sector, highlighting in particular an additional £10 million of support funding for wholesalers announced by the finance secretary in January.

Forbes was also on hand to present the first award of the evening, Rising Star of the Year, with Meghan Henderson of Lomond Fine Foods picking up the prize.

Other big winners included United Wholesale Scotland, which won Best Cash & Carry for its depot in Queenslie, Glasgow; Best Technology Initiative; and Best Business Initiative.

Glasgow-based JW Filshill also picked up multiple gongs, with health and safety manager Amanda Casey topping the Employee of the Year category. The business also took home Best Symbol Group for its KeyStore fascia and Best Delivered Operation – Retail.

Spar Scotland wholesaler CJ Lang scooped the Community Service award.

Addressing attendees, Colin Smith, said: “As well as shining a spotlight on the efforts of Scotland’s wholesalers, our awards recognise the lengths that suppliers and their employees have gone to in supporting their customers and communities during the pandemic.

“That is one of the reasons why these Achievers awards attracted such a high number of entries, both from our longstanding members and from many of the 35 new wholesalers that joined our Association during the pandemic.

“At our last Achievers, in 2019, I spoke about how the industry was witnessing unprecedented change – little did I know that the most unprecedented disruption and change was waiting in the wings.

“But we have worked together as an industry, and the SWA took the lead in fighting for recognition of the impact on our sector, and for equality and fairness in recompensing our members for their losses, ensuring that the Scottish Government recognises wholesale’s key role in the food and drink supply chain.

“It is often said that success is hard won in challenging times and tonight that speaks for itself and we celebrate and acknowledge the resilience and perseverance of our wholesaler and supplier members.”