Our members provide food and associated products to over 400,000 retail and catering businesses, either by direct delivery or via cash and carry depots. Their customers range from small independent stores to large restaurant chains, and from local coffee shops to hospitals and schools.
As well as providing the perfect product mix for each of these diverse businesses, wholesalers support their customers with merchandising materials, business advice, training courses and inspirational ideas. We also work with product suppliers to help them take advantage of the opportunity to grow their brands through partnerships with FWD members.
FWD’s membership includes companies which provide services to the wholesale channel, such as market insight, technology and consultancy. Product and service suppliers looking to work more closely with FWD’s wholesaler members can join FWD as Supplier Partners, Supplier Members or Service Providers.
Our Council of Members oversees FWD’s work in three strategic areas:
Bringing Wholesale Together
Our members provide a vital service to communities across the UK, ensuring that small businesses are able to offer compelling and distinctive food offers in cities, towns and villages, and keeping the country’s important institutions fed and watered – among them hospitals, schools, care homes, prisons and leisure facilities.
It’s our job to publicise this massive contribution to our society and the economy to Government, policy makers, the media and the public. Here’s some facts and figures about the industry and its impact.
FWD is the hub of wholesale – a meeting place for suppliers, wholesalers, service providers and other stakeholders to come together and discuss non-competitive issues. We facilitate discussion of efficiency in distribution, understanding our customers’ needs, and closer co-operation between the links in the supply chain.
Our Supplier Council is the steering group for this activity. Its current work includes strategies for recruiting, developing and retaining new talent into the sector, and discussing ways to standardise procedures in the ordering and transport of products between supplier and wholesalers.
FWD organises a programme of events to bring the sector together. These include an annual conference, training days, briefings for senior executives, category focus discussions and the famous FWD Gold Medal Awards.
We also chair a number of ad-hoc committees, bringing the appropriate representatives of member companies together to discuss issues of mutual interest, such as crime, HR, sustainability and how to meet the requirements of impending legislation.