The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has appointed its first female chairman.
Country Range MD Coral Rose will succeed Bidfood CEO Andrew Selley, who has been in the position since 2017.
Rose, who will take up the role in January, has served on the FWD council since 2014 and co-chaired its foodservice group from 2015 to 2018. She is well-known in the trade, having presented at FWD conferences and supplier briefings.
Her priorities will include promoting initiatives to improve the gender balance of the wholesale channel while encouraging more young people to commit to it, both by developing those already on board, and by attracting more diverse talent into the sector.
“We can always do more to make this sector attractive to women, with total equality and the same opportunity to succeed,” said Rose. “I find that I am still very often the sole female attendee at senior-level wholesale meetings and events. I would like FWD to continue working closely with Women in Wholesale, to encourage and inspire women to progress in the industry and address the gender imbalance, particularly at senior level.”
FWD CEO James Bielby paid tribute to Selley, who has helped steer its members through the demands of Brexit.
“Andrew has been a fantastic FWD chairman, and leaves the post with our immense gratitude for all he has done, particularly over the challenging last 12 months as we have led the sector’s response to Brexit,” said Bielby. “He leaves office with FWD in better shape than ever in terms of membership, finances and reputation.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Coral, not only for her expertise and knowledge, but also as the first female chairman of FWD, as we work to make wholesale a diverse and inclusive industry.”