Sterling Supergroup has ended its associate membership with Landmark Wholesale as it looks to sharpen its focus on foodservice.

The buying group, which has 44 members and an annual turnover of £400m, will end the agreement next week.

CEO Vanessa Cooper said Sterling’s business interests had diverged from Landmark’s as it moved from being cash & carry orientated towards foodservice. Sterling Caterers Essentials, its own-label catering range, had grown to £21.5m since its launch in 2009, Cooper said, and the group had decided it could move forward as an independent group.

“As the vast majority of our volume is foodservice, we wanted to focus on that,” she said.

Sterling’s members had mainly used Landmark for its overrider on branded confectionery and soft drinks - a small part of its business - Cooper said, and it would now explore the best way for its members to get competitive terms in those categories.

Landmark Wholesale MD Martin Williams said Sterling’s departure would not affect his group’s buying power. “In material terms their departure changes nothing for Landmark.”