Achievers celebrates Scotland’s finest

Scotland’s most innovative and forward-thinking wholesalers have been recognised and rewarded at the annual Scottish Wholesale Achievers Awards

The event, which took place on Thursday 22 February at the O2 Academy Edinburgh, is organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association to highlight excellence across the Scottish wholesale industry.

Multiple winners on the night included CJ Lang & Son which picking up Best Delivered Operation – Retail, Best Symbol Group and Community Service Award while Failte Foods claimed Best Delivered Operation – Foodservice and Employee of the Year for Paul Ellwood, senior buyer.

United Wholesale (Scotland) won Best Cash & Carry for its depot in Queenslie, Glasgow and Best Licensed Wholesaler, while Brakes Scotland also took home two awards: Kelsey Brannan, area sales manager, was named Rising Star of Wholesale and its loyalty scheme My Brakes Rewards picked up Best Marketing Initiative.

Bidfood won the Best Innovation category for its new portal where chefs can create menus, calculate margin, provide full allergen traceability and order products. For Booker, it was the wholesaler’s commitment to best practice across the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic – that saw it named Sustainable Wholesaler of the Year.

Great Place to Work went to Costco, with the winner chosen because its approach to employee welfare sets it apart as a model employer. The judges said Costco “fosters a nurturing and supportive work environment” and offers “clear career progression pathways, a friendly and inclusive workplace culture, and comprehensive benefits and rewards”.

The Local Supplier of the Year award, launched in 2023, complements the SWA’s Delivering Growth Through Wholesale (DGTW) programme with entrants showing how they have implemented new processes to help support Scottish producers hoping to supply their business.

The accolade was presented to Mark Don of Braehead Foods for his commitment to making himself available to producers and his passion for the value that local sourcing brings to the Kilmarnock-based business.

Soft drinks firm AG Barr won Project Scotland for the launch of its PWR-BRU big can energy range, fulfilling its aim to drive incremental sales and profits by offering retailer incentives, driving excellent execution in depot, and investing in wide-ranging consumer activity.

Best Overall Service, one of the most coveted awards in Achievers, involves wholesaler members of the SWA voting each month over a four-month period for the shortlisted suppliers, saw JTI come out on top.

SWA chief executive Colin Smith said: “I’ve spoken before about how resilient wholesale is and you don’t need me to remind you of the challenges we have faced in recent years, and more recent issues that certainly don’t make running a wholesale business any easier.

“So, it’s only right that we celebrate our industry – whether it’s retail, hospitality, tourism, sustainability, economic transformation, or health and wellbeing – with the SWA’s wholesale and supplier members but also our colleagues and partners from across the industry and from within the Scottish Government.”

Bidfood CJ Lang and Son Scottish Wholesale Achievers Awards United Wholesale