CJ Lang takes top award at SWA Achievers

The winning team from CJ Lang pose with award

CJ Lang was last night (12th February) named the best wholesale business in the country at the prestigious Scottish Wholesale Achievers.

The Dundee-based firm fended off stiff competition from wholesalers all over the country to win the sought-after Champion of Champions award, sponsored by tobacco firm Philip Morris.

CJ Lang also lifted the Best Symbol Group and Best Delivered Operation cateogries, sponsored by soft drinks firm Cott and Imperial Tobacco UK respectively, and was runner-up in Best Marketing Initiative at Achievers – sponsored by Taylors of Harrogate – for its ‘Shop & Win’ campaign to drive footfall in its customers’ Spar stores.

Judges pointed to CJ Lang’s “passion and commitment to their business”, with Karen Murray, Regional Sales Manager at Philip Morris, saying: “The market is very competitive in Scotland and this year’s Champion of Champions displayed a great winning mindset throughout, demonstrating best practice in many areas. This wholesaler is clearly always looking to improve its business.”

Duncan Cunningham, Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs at Imperial Tobacco UK, said that CJ Lang “stood out as an example of best practice”. He explained: “This company’s highly professional approach to wholesaling was demonstrated by the sophisticated processes and systems it has in place, along with a commitment to continuous customer service improvement.”

Kate Salmon, Executive Director of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Wholesale Association, commented: “This is an outstanding result for CJ Lang, one of our sector’s leading independent, family-owned business. The company has set a very high benchmark for our industry and we should all be inspired by its desire to keep on improving standards.

“What CJ Lang has also done, however, is show that it is not afraid to embrace change by adopting new technologies and using them to its best advantage. It is a wholesaler that is bold and confident about the future of our industry – and that truly is something to celebrate.

Almost 500 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by TV presenter Cat Cubie at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh.


The 2015 Roll Of Honour

Corporate Responsibility Award, sponsored by Coca-Cola Enterprises
Winner: Bidvest 3663
Runner-up: Sutherland Brothers
Highly Commended: Gordon & MacPhail

Great Place to Work, sponsored by AG Barr
Winner: Iain Hill
Runner-up: Bidvest 3663
Highly Commended: Booker, Galashiels

Supplier Sales Executive of the Year, sponsored by Sugro
Winner: Jillian Blaney, Mondelez International
Runner-up: Lawrence Findlay of Unilever Food Solutions
Highly Commended: Linda Fraser, Nestlé First Choice

Best Delivered Operation – Foodservice, sponsored by Premier Foods
Winner: Fáilte Foods
Runner-up: William Yule and Son
Highly Commended: Dunns Food and Drinks

Best Delivered Operation – Retail, sponsored by Imperial Tobacco UK
Winner: CJ Lang & Son
Runner-up: United Wholesale (Scotland)
Highly Commended: Booker, Port Dundas

Best Delivered Operation – On-Trade, sponsored by Britvic Soft Drinks
Winner: Gordon & MacPhail
Runner-up: Sutherland Brothers
Highly Commended: Dunns Food and Drinks

Project Scotland
Winner: Diageo for its ‘Learning for Life Scotland’ project
Runner-up: AG Barr for its ‘Best Games Ever’ Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games project, which not only generated incremental sales but was also great fun for the trade and consumers
Highly Commended: JTI for its ‘Win with the Winners’ initiative to help over 900 symbol stores affiliated to SWA members prepare for the tobacco display ban

Employee of the Year – sponsored by Mondelez International
Winner: Fiona Seggie, business development manager at Iain Hill
Runner-up: Ross Macpherson, merchandising & project manager, United Wholesale (Scotland), Queenslie
Highly Commended: Surjeet Singh, checkout supervisor at United Wholesale Grocers, Springburn

Best Symbol Group, sponsored by Cott
Winner: Spar from CJ Lang & Son
Runner-up: Day-Today from United Wholesale (Scotland)
Highly Commended: Lifestyle from Landmark Wholesale

Best Advertising Campaign
Winner: Foster’s Radler ‘Good Call – Volleyball’

Best Marketing Initiative, sponsored by Taylors of Harrogate
Winner: Forteith Foodservice for its ‘Becoming Scotland’s Larder’ scheme
Runner-up: CJ Lang & Son for its ‘Shop & Win’ campaign to drive footfall in its customers’ Spar stores
Highly Commended: Sutherland Brothers for its campaign to increase online ordering

Best Overall Service
Winner: Whyte & Mackay
Runner-up: AG Barr
Highly Commended: Maxxium UK

Best Cash & Carry Depot, sponsored by JTI
Winner: United Wholesale Grocers, Springburn
Runner-up: United Wholesale (Scotland), Queenslie
Highly Commended is: Booker, Hamilton

2015 Champion of Champions, sponsored by Philip Morris
CJ Lang & Son