Caterforce reaps rewards from membership

Lynas Foodservice hosted the annual shareholder meeting of the European Catering Distributors group (ECD) on behalf of Caterforce earlier this month

Established more than 30 years ago, ECD now has 15 members from 17 different countries with a total turnover of 10 billion euros. The group was established for independent foodservice buying groups and wholesalers to share knowledge, best practice and mutual trading terms with global suppliers.

Gary Mullineux, MD, Caterforce (pictured top) and the buying group’s new chairman, Matt Lewis, MD, Castell Howell were both in attendance. Gary joined the Board of the ECD last year, and the buying group is already reaping the benefits of its membership.

“There is a strong synergy with the ethos of ECD and Caterforce,” said Gary. “ECD’s focus on independent foodservice means their members have the same ambitions and challenges as our own buying group. Members share knowledge and best practice on everything from centralised ERPs to multi-country purchasing collaborations as well as strategies to service national accounts.”

Matt Lewis agreed: “As the new Chairman of Caterforce, it was great to meet leaders of other multi-million pound buying groups. It has been really interesting to learn about their different business models and how they are supporting their wholesaler members in such a competitive and challenging market.”

The meeting at Lynas Foodservice included a tour of the Coleraine-based depot and demonstrations of the efficiencies made since the wholesaler launched its new warehouse management system. The Lynas team also showcased its ambition to achieve 75% renewable energy by October 2023 through installation of solar panels and a wind turbine.

“It was a privilege to host the ECD shareholder meeting at our depot in Coleraine,” said Andrew Lynas. “Over the years Lynas has benefitted from the support and knowledge of Caterforce and it is great that Gary and the team are striving to push the group forward and share best practice from our European counterparts.”

Caterforce European Catering Distributors Group Gary Mullineux Lynas Foodservice Matt Lewis