The Scottish Wholesale Association rewarded the most forward-thinking, resilient and innovative wholesalers at its 20th annual Achievers Awards last month.
The Scottish Wholesale Association’s 20th annual Achievers Awards saw some of the most progressive, resilient and creative wholesalers in Scotland recognised and rewarded last month at the 02 Academy in Edinburgh.
Achievers was created to highlight excellence and share best practice across all sectors of the vital wholesale industry and the achievements that have made a difference to individuals, communities and businesses over the last year.
A record number of guests attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation which was hosted by Scottish TV sports presenter Amy Irons. Some 12 wholesaler categories were up for grabs across retail, foodservice, licensed, technology and community-focused sectors.
Suppliers were also recognised for their support of the wholesale sector with awards in six categories including Best Overall Service, Best Foodservice Supplier and Local Supplier of the Year.
Recognising the importance of people within the wholesale industry, Achievers shone a spotlight on the people who play such an integral part in the success of wholesale and supplier businesses with awards for wholesale Employee of the Year and Rising Star of Wholesale – with the wholesaler deemed Great Place to Work also rewarded.
Wholesalers had an opportunity to impress the judges with their Best Marketing Initiative, show how they are involved at local level in the Community Service Award category, and demonstrated their commitment to the environment in the Sustainable Wholesaler of the Year category.
Night of success
Multiple winners on the night included CJ Lang & Son who picked up Best Delivered Operation (Retail), Best Symbol Group and Best Marketing Initiative.
United Wholesale (Scotland) also won three awards: Best Cash & Carry for its depot in Queenslie, Glasgow, Best Licensed Wholesaler and Best Technology Initiative.
Two categories were claimed by Lomond Foods – Sustainable Wholesaler of the Year and Great Place to Work.
There was also a wee deserved special cheer on the evening as the audience raised the roof for David Hadden of Booker Edinburgh A1, the recipient of Employee of the Year.
The new Local Supplier of the Year award went to Aberdeenshire-based Summer House Drinks with Colin Smith, SWA Chief Executive, revealing that such has been the success of the SWA’s ‘Delivering Growth Through Wholesale’ programme that Achievers 2024 will present a new award for Wholesale Local Food Champion.
This award complements the ‘Delivering Growth Through Wholesale’ programme, which is designed to not only increase the amount of local sourcing by Scottish wholesalers but strengthen the wholesale supply chain for all.
Meanwhile, long-time wholesale channel supporter, soft drinks firm AG Barr, won both the Best Overall Service and Best Advertising Campaign categories.
Project Wholesale was won by Red Star Brands for its Four Loko initiative.
Colin Smith said: “This is our 20th year of these prestigious awards and we have a lot to celebrate, from the remarkable individuals who go above and beyond in their day-to-day duties to make a real difference in our industry and in their communities, to the wholesalers and suppliers that go the extra mile to provide exceptional customer service to get food and drink delivered the length and breadth of Scotland.
“The wholesale industry is not for the faint-hearted. We’ve shown grit and determination as we’ve stumbled out of a pandemic – and into a new set of challenges and turbulence for the food and drink industry. Rising inflation, falling food supplies, spiralling energy costs and the search for skilled workers.
“Whether it’s retail, hospitality, tourism, sustainability, economic transformation, or health and wellbeing – that’s why here tonight we are joined not just by our wholesale and supplier members but our colleagues and partners from across industry, and from within the Scottish Government. Colleagues that we work closely with and who help us to help you.”
“And such is the success of our ‘Delivering Growth Through Wholesale’ programme that the Scottish Government has provided funding for us to create 40 Wholesale Local Food Champions, and I am delighted to announce that for Achievers 2024 there will be a new award for our top ‘Wholesale Local Food Champion’.”
Winners roll call
- Great Place to Work: Lomond Foods
- Best Cash & Carry: United Wholesale (Scotland), Queenslie
- Best Delivered Operation – Retail: CJ Lang & Son
- Best Symbol Group: Spar Scotland, CJ Lang & Son
- Best Technology Initiative: United Wholesale (Scotland)
- Best Licensed Wholesaler: United Wholesale (Scotland)
- Best Marketing Initiative: CJ Lang & Son
- Employee of the Year: David Hadden, Booker Edinburgh A1
- Best Advertising Campaign: Irn-Bru
- Local Supplier of the Year: Summer House Drinks
- Project Wholesale: Four Loko, Red Star Brands
- Best Overall Service: AG Barr
- Supplier Sales Executive of the Year: Mark Violet, Kepak
- Sustainable Wholesaler of the Year: Lomond Foods