Relationships between suppliers and wholesalers have improved dramatically, according to the chairman of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, and they should now seek to introduce more transparency in their dealings.
Speaking at the FWD’s annual dinner at The Savoy, Today’s MD Rodney Hunt told a full house that wholesalers and their suppliers were working together in partnerships that recognised their interdependence.
He said: “I believe that relationships between wholesalers and suppliers and vice-versa have become much more mature, even at this time when giant superstores are selling beer and large tins of confectionery at fairy tale
prices. There has been a step change which has previously gone unnoticed in the hectic exchange of views between wholesalers and suppliers.”
Hunt said the relationship had changed from being price
driven to a situation where added value, evidence of consumer demand and all the other aspects of intelligent trading were involved.
The clearest sign of this change in 2004, he said, was the reversal of the long-term decline in the number of people suppliers had working in the independent and wholesale sector.
“A considerable number have put additional human resources into our sector as development people, helping us to establish and grow retailer clubs and work with our retailers generally,” he said.
He called on each side to work for a clearer understanding of the other. “Transparency is a fashionable word,” he added. “If we can all sign up to the concept of shared goals and transparency, I am sure we will see increased mutual benefits.”
After the dinner the annual Gold Medals were awarded. Best young wholesaler of the year went to Faisal Hashmi, depot manager of Bestway Cash & Carry, Liverpool, and Jonathan Verner, Northern Ireland commercial manager, Musgrave Cash & Carry.
The multiple cash and carry manager of the year was Senga McColl, warehouse manager of Costco, Edinburgh, and Aroon Samani, director of Premier Wholesale won the independent award. Independent depot manager in the delivered sector was Craig O’Connor, executive director of Dee Bee Cash & Carry, and the top multiple manager was Andrew Watson of 3663, Denny. Raj Krishan, retail projects controller at Landmark Cash & Carry, and Gino Paletta, MD of CTM wholesale, both won gold medals for service to retailers. Malcolm Baker, MD of MJ Baker Foodservice, won gold for service to caterers.
John Wood