The Prime Minister joined the applause for the winners of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ Gold Medal Awards, which were presented in London last night.
David Cameron sent his congratulations to the medal winners and their colleagues in FWD member companies for “the incredible resilience, efficiency and commitment they never fail to show.”
Introducing the 30 shortlisted finalists, FWD chairman Martin Williams told the 800 guests: “Tonight is about celebrating the excellent contribution of people who make wholesale tick. Not the business owners and managing directors, but the depot managers, the drivers, the telesales staff, and the shop floor workers.
“They are as important to the sustainability and profitability of our businesses as anyone in this room.”
He added that the wholesaler members of the FWD are investing in the potential of the great people in their teams, encouraging them to gain skills and build careers in this “exciting and challenging” sector.
For the first time ever, women won more of the individual awards than men, with Julie Tidy of Bidvest Foodservice (Delivered Depot Manager), Joy York of Booker Newcastle (Customer Support) and Linsey McNamara of Booker Worthing (Depot Team Member) all taking home Gold Medals.
The Young Wholesaler of the Year award went to Stuart Doughty, Retail Development Manager for Booker, who is based in Brighton.
Bidvest Foodservice won awards for Green Wholesaler of the Year and Service to Foodservice, while Savage and Whitten triumphed in the Service to Retail category.
Medals were also presented to the brands and supplier companies which have contributed most to the wholesale sector over the last year, with the Gold Medal for Grocery Brand going to The Real McCoy’s from KP Snacks.
Mr Cameron also said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate “the important work that is done, year in, year out, to provide and deliver food wherever it is needed.”
Chancellor George Osborne added his own praise for the wholesale distribution sector, saying that the event, held at the HAC Royal Artillery Gardens in the City of London, was “a fantastic opportunity to highlight and celebrate the tireless work, dedication, and most important of all, success of British wholesalers over the past year.
He added: “You have made an invaluable contribution to the UK economy.”
A full list of the awards and winners, including citations and downloadable photos, is at www.fwd.co.uk