New SWA President Julie Dunn to review and modernise the Association’s operations

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has outlined plans to review and modernise the way it operates.

New President Julie Dunn, speaking at the Association’s annual conference at Crieff last week, said that while recent changes had been successful in focusing the SWA’s function to better reflect the needs of its membership, it was vital that it was in a strong position to address major strategic and commercial issues.

“We are a good association,” Dunn said. “But like many trade associations we have been a bit sheltered from the forces which impact on our members in their everyday business environments – political, social, economic and technological. So how does the SWA be a great trade association? We’ll start by making sure that we are match-fit for the future.”

The governing Council, she continued, had to be as efficient as possible with the right people operating within the right structure so that change can be continually effected for the good of the association and wider industry.

Dunn said: “I’m not here to change for change’s sake – we’re not reacting to anything drastic. We just want to ensure that we have a strong set of core values which will endure – we absolutely must maintain a drive for progress.”

One major and positive development, she continued, had been the creation of the SWA Foodservice Group (pictured above) to reflect the growing importance of foodservice in wholesale and also the association’s membership which includes national and international wholesalers, family businesses and suppliers. “We need to ensure that our Council covers all categories of membership,” Dunn pointed out.

“Working groups are a terrific way to attract the highest calibre of membership but we have to determine as a Council what our working groups must achieve to ensure maximum impact for the association and the industry.”

She also confirmed that the association would form a cash and carry retail-based group and possibly a suppliers’ forum.

More on this story, and on the SWA Conference, in the June issue of Wholesale News – out later this week.

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