SWA workshops

Next phase of SWA’s Delivering Growth Through Wholesale announced

SWA has revealed a string of dates for the next phase of its Delivering Growth Through Wholesale programme.

Among the activities kicking off in January 2022 are workshops for wholesalers and producers and a Meet the Buyer event as SWA aims to encourage members and the wider wholesale sector to strengthen engagement with local producers and help them access new markets.

Delivering Growth through Wholesale is designed to provide businesses with the tools and information they need to help them maximise opportunities within a wholesale industry with sales worth £2.9 billion.

Wholesaler workshops will take place over two half days and highlight the benefits to wholesalers of sourcing locally, as well as exploring how to overcome barriers of engagement between wholesalers and producers. The workshops will also detail steps wholesalers can implement to take advantage of Scottish sourcing opportunities.

Producer workshops will introduce the wholesale industry to companies which may not be familiar with how it operates. Sessions will highlight the scale of the opportunity, how wholesale works and the benefits it can deliver for producers as well as helping producers understand what wholesalers are looking for and provide insider tips on both managing relationships and maximising sales once a listing is secured.

Real-life examples will demonstrate how the wholesale sector has helped producers of various sizes grow their business and the benefits they have experienced from working with the sector.

All participants will receive a suite of tools and information to develop their wholesale and/or local sourcing strategic business plans plus guidance on developing a framework for engagement. One-to-one expert support will also be available following the workshops to help both wholesalers and producers on the journey.

“Our Local Food Logistics Strategy will accelerate the process and help us achieve our objective to distribute more local goods onto the shelves of Scotland’s 5,000 convenience stores and onto plates in 30,000 hospitality, tourism and leisure outlets,” said SWA Chief Executive Colin Smith.

“It’s all about helping our sector become resilient to challenges and getting us ready to capitalise on new opportunities while at the same time educating Scottish producers to the fact that wholesale is a massive opportunity and a dynamic route to market.

“Our aim is also to create a more integrated logistics network where wholesalers can work together to offer products outwith their normal area of operation. This is already happening to a certain extent but we really want to develop this to the stage where, for example, a Highlands-based wholesaler could help its clients reach markets in the east or west Scotland through a wholesaler based in the central belt.”

SWA are currently investing a lot of attention in improving the wholesale industry north of the border, with its Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry project aiming to help the sector on the road to carbon net zero.

Colin Smith Scotland SWA Wholesalers