Weekly news summary 1st May 2015




‘Wholesale Matters’, a networking event held by the Scottish Wholesale Association yesterday (30 April), highlighted to more than 30 suppliers how the trade body can assist them in their dealings with Scotland’s wholesalers.

Held at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, the informal meeting enabled the SWA to explain its role, objectives and aspirations to companies that are not currently members. It also provided a platform for the suppliers to meet SWA Council officers and other key wholesalers.

SWA executive director Kate Salmon said: “We are fortunate that the SWA already enjoys incredible support from a large number of leading suppliers. However, there are many more who do not yet fully understand what we do, or appreciate the unique access to Scotland’s wholesalers that supplier membership can provide.

“Our supplier members are invaluable to the success of the Association and it has always been our belief that strong links between wholesalers and suppliers are vital to the continued growth and future prosperity of our dynamic and challenging marketplace.”


SWA president Asim Sarwar: ‘We can help bring suppliers closer to our industry.’

Asim Sarwar, SWA president and managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland), told the audience: “Our role is to provide an effective communications channel for our members – both wholesalers and suppliers. We can help bring you closer to our industry. We can set up introductions, offer unique networking opportunities and help you understand the challenges wholesalers are facing in the Scottish market – challenges that may be very different from those south of the Border.”

A series of speakers outlined the full scope of the SWA’s work. These included senior executives from AG Barr, Premier Foods and Scot-Serve, who explained how working in partnership with the Association has benefited their own business.

The SWA’s lobbying role was also flagged up as being of considerable importance to both wholesalers and suppliers in protecting and promoting the interests of the Scottish wholesale trade. Margaret Smith, director of Caledonia Public Affairs, which was recently appointed by the Association to reinforce its political connections, said: “My objective is to build effective partnerships with politicians so that when decision-makers are making policies and taking decisions that affect this important sector, they have a better evidence base and understanding from which to work.

She added: “Sometimes it will be right to make representations on behalf of wholesalers only; at other times, it will be better to involve key partners, such as suppliers.”

Tel: Scottish Wholesale Association 0131-556 8753


Bidvest Foodservice International, trading in the UK as Bidvest 3663, has spread its net to the Channel Islands with the purchase of Cimandis, with depots in St Saviour, Jersey, St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Alderney.

The Channel Islands operator’s former owner is SandpiperCI, the largest retailer and private employer in the island group.

cimandis-logoAs reported in Cash & Carry Management last month, Cimandis will next month end its 21-year membership of Country Range Group. The wholesaler stocks a range of 4,500 products, including fresh meat and fish, fruit & veg, bakery, chilled & frozen foods, soft drinks and dry goods. Its 1,000 customers cover the retail, hospitality and service sectors.

Andrew Selley, Bidvest 3663 chief executive, said: “Over the past couple of years, the Cimandis management team (headed by managing director Dave Chalk and commercial director Dave Truscott) have developed a thriving and profitable foodservice business within the Channel Islands.

“In line with our decentralised model, Bidvest will continue operating Cimandis as an autonomous and independent business.

“We believe this partnership opens up new opportunities for both of us. For Bidvest it allows us to further extend our footprint in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, while the Cimandis team and customers will benefit from the financial and strategic support of the wider Bidvest group.”

At present, there are no plans to change the Cimandis liveries and brands.

In addition to operations in the UK, home country South Africa, and now in the Channel Islands, Bidvest has foodservice businesses in Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Baltic States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile and Brazil.

Tel: Bidvest 3663 (0370) 3663 000


Brakes Group has signed a nationwide contract with Windsor Materials Handling for the maintenance of equipment at its 80-plus sites in the UK, including the foodservice chain and depots that operate under the M&J Seafood, Pauleys, Brakes Logistics and Brakes Catering Equipment names.

The deal – which appears to be a renewal, although Brakes would not confirm this when asked by Cash & Carry Management – covers more than 300 units of warehouse equipment, including forklift trucks and stock pickers.

Windsor director Jason Reynolds said: “We’ve worked hard at a number of Brakes sites to develop a good understanding of the operation. It is testament to our growing capabilities that Brakes have shown faith in us.”

Ian Hunt, the foodservice specialist’s group engineering manager, commented: “We have a mixed fleet in multi-temperature environments, so it can be demanding on equipment. We need a partner that can be relied upon and sees the importance of keeping us working 24/7.

artwork_template“Happily, Windsor Materials Handling has developed a comprehensive service, and we are confident in its abilities to help us improve our operations in the future.”

Windsor Materials Handling operates from 11 UK sites, offering materials handling and access equipment for sale, hire and maintenance.

Established in 1977, it claims to be the country’s leading independent supplier of Komatsu and Doosan forklifts, Atlet warehousing and JLG access equipment.

Tel: Brakes Group (01233) 206000

Tel: Windsor Materials Handling (01482) 329996

Published Date: May 1, 2015
Category: Wholesale Industry News