Barr celebrates after winning big at SWA Achievers awards

In the suppliers’ award categories at last week’s Scottish Wholesale Association’s Achievers awards it was another great night for AG Barr with the soft drinks firm’s Lee Gibson, regional business development manager, named Supplier Sales Executive of the Year, sponsored by Sugro.

Gibson, who has over 25 years’ experience working in the industry, was described by the judges as “often going above and beyond his set duties”.

AG Barr also won Project Scotland, which highlights suppliers’ understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry and their commitment to the sector – its campaign behind the launch of Irn-Bru Xtra struck a chord with the judges who awarded it full marks in the closely-contested category.

Finally, AG Barr came out on top in the fiercely-contested category for Best Overall Service by Suppliers, judged by members of the SWA voting each month for the shortlisted suppliers over a four-month period.

Best Advertising Campaign, meanwhile, saw wholesalers vote for their favourite advert with Tennent’s ‘The Night Bus’ coming out on top, seeing off competition from: Bud Light, Haribo and Irn-Bru Xtra.

Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based SWA, commented: “The marketplace is seeing unprecedented change but despite the challenges, wholesalers and suppliers continue to raise their game – there is plenty of evidence of this as we recognise the very best in our industry in Achievers and I can say with absolute confidence that standards are higher than ever.”

Salmon singled out suppliers for their support of the wholesale sector in Scotland. “I am very proud of the way Achievers has evolved,” she said. “We go to great lengths to ensure that the awards remain meaningful for all involved but we couldn’t do it without our supplier members.”

She added that Achievers, on top of enhancing supplier and wholesaler relationships, raising standards and rewarding the best in the business, allows the Scottish Wholesale Association to reinvest in the industry. “We know that wholesaling is an excellent career choice,” she said, “and through our investment in an apprenticeship scheme we hope to attract new talent to the industry.”


Almost 500 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch, co-host of STV2’s Live at Five and the Scottish Children’s Lottery, at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh on Thursday, February 8.

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