The FWD membership includes eight buying groups which between them represent over 600 independent wholesalers. While they take advantage of the collective buying power and information exchange of the groups, each of these offers their customers a bespoke service according to their needs. We've been visiting our members to find out how they add value to the retailer and caterer, and where they think suppliers can help them improve service and efficiency.
FWD's newest member is a vegetarian, vegan and natural foods wholesaler based near Halifax, with a 4,500 customer base including health food shops across the UK. It's also a workers' co-operative where decisions are made collectively and everyone earns the same hourly wage.
One of the most forwward-thinking wholesalers, Filshill is a fifth-generation family firm based in Glasgow with close relationships with its suppliers and a great eye for the next technological advance.
Here's Simon Hannah:
Lousie and Justin Birchall talk us through the philosophy of the Burnley distributor. They also talk about the impact that supply failures have on a service-led business, and invite suppliers to come and see their warehouse operation in action.
FWD members come in all sizes and specialisms. Kentish Match is a confectionery and non-food wholesaler witha loyal customer base and a 52-year history of support for smaller independents.
Matthew Moare talks about the unique relationship with customers, and the support retailers would like to see from manufacturers.
A specialist in workplace and education catering which counts several Oxford colleges among its customers, Savona builds its reputation on reliability and surety of supply. Mike Morgan explains why it's so important that suppliers meet their responsibilities in this area and suggests how they could engage wholesalers better.
Way out in West Wales, Harlech keeps the tourist trade ticking with daily deliveries, complementing fresh and frozen ranges with fine wines, craft beers and its own butchery. Andrew Foskett has some views on packaging and labelling and a five-point plan for supplier success in wholesale.
We're back in Glasgow to visit Scotland's largest independent wholesaler, where Asim Sahwar and Mike Leonard talk us through some of the work they've done with suppliers to bring excitement to their depots, and demonstrate how they're supporting reatilers through technology. Asim has some thoughts on the future of price marked packs in an inflationary market.
Hyperama, with six sites in the West Midlands, is investing in new cold stores and a delivery service for foodservice customers. Marcus Singh and Aris Poulis are evolving the business and believe that wholesalers' investment in their vast customer base needs to be matched by suppliers.