Caterforce is reaping the rewards of its membership of the European Catering Distributors (ECD) group by learning about best practice at the businesses of European wholesalers.
The annual shareholder meeting of ECD was recently hosted by Caterforce at Lynas Foodservice in Coleraine, and attended by Gary Mullineux, managing director of Caterforce, and the buying group’s new chairman, Castell Howell’s managing director Matt Lewis.
Established more than 30 years ago, ECD now has 15 members from 17 different countries with a total turnover of 10 billion euros. The organisation was established for independent foodservice buying groups and wholesalers to share knowledge, best practice and mutual trading terms with global suppliers.
Mullineux, who joined the board of ECD last year, explained: “There is a strong synergy with the ethos of ECD and Caterforce. ECD’s focus on independent foodservice means their members have the same ambitions and challenges as our own buying group. Members share knowledge and best practice on everything from centralised enterprise resource planning (ERP) to multi-country purchasing collaborations as well as strategies to service national accounts.”
Lewis agreed: “As the new chairman of Caterforce, it was great to meet leaders of other multi-million-pound buying groups. It has been really interesting to learn about their different business models and how they are supporting their wholesaler members in such a competitive and challenging market.”
The meeting at Lynas Foodservice included a tour of the depot in Coleraine and demonstrations of the efficiencies made since the wholesaler launched its new warehouse management system. The Lynas team also showcased its ambition to achieve 75% renewable energy by October 2023 through installation of solar panels and a wind turbine.
“It was a privilege to host the ECD shareholder meeting at our depot in Coleraine,” said group managing director Andrew Lynas. “Over the years Lynas has benefited from the support and knowledge of Caterforce and it is great that Gary and the team are striving to push the group forward and share best practice from our European counterparts.”
Published Date: May 19, 2023