FWD Gold Medals: The winners revealed… and praise from the PM

Booker and Bidvest Foodservice were among the big winners at last week’s FWD Gold Medal Awards, and  Bestway Batleys MD Younus Sheikh (pictured above with awards compere, comedian Tim Vine; FWD chief executive James Bielby; and FWD chairman Martin Williams) was given the industry’s ultimate accolade: the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The FWD Gold Medals enable wholesalers to recognise and reward the very best talent from within their ranks, and to acknowledge the most fruitful supplier partnerships. Over 800 attended this year’s Awards, the biggest in the history of FWD.

Even the  Prime Minister joined in the applause for the winners! 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.”

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 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.”

Introducing the 30 shortlisted finalists, Martin Williams told the 800-plus 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, Joy York of Booker Newcastle 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.

The wholesale winners were as follows:

Gold Medal Young Wholesaler of the Year: Stuart Doughty, Retail Development Manager, Booker Brighton;

Gold Medal for Wholesaler Service to Retailers: Savage & Whitten;

Gold Medal for Wholesaler Service to Caterers: Bidvest Foodservice;

Gold Medal Delivered Depot Manager: Julie Tidy, Depot General Manager,
Bidvest Foodservice, Cannock;

Gold Medal Cash and Carry Manager: Danny McManamon, General Manager, Costco Chingford;

Gold Medal Customer Support: Joy York, Branch Assistant, Booker, Newcastle;

Gold Medal Depot Team Member: Linsey McNamara, Customer Services Supervisor, Booker Worthing;

Gold Medal Delivered Wholesale Driver: Dave McRostie, Bidvest Foodservice, Bicester; Gold Medal Cash and Carry Depot Team: Booker, Llandudno.

A full list of the winners from both wholesalers and suppliers, including citations and photos from the night, will be featured in the December issue of Wholesale News.

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