The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) is the trade association for food and drink wholesalers in the UK

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:

Representing Wholesale

Promoting Wholesale

Bringing Wholesale Together

Representing Wholesale

FWD works with Ministers, MPs and Government officials to defend and protect members’ business interests against political and regulatory threats. As the voice of wholesale we speak for the sector in policy debates, and ensure that Government is aware of the impact that proposed legislation

will have on this vital component of the food supply chain. We also make sure our members are aware of their obligations under forthcoming legislation.

Have a look at some of the current issues we’re engaged in on behalf of members.




Promoting Wholesale

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.

Along with their customers, they improve diversity, service and competition in the UK retail and foodservice markets.

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.

Bringing Wholesale Together

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

FWD organises a programme of events to bring the sector together. These include an annual conference, training days, briefings for senior executives, category focus  evenings 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.