Sterling Supergroup celebrated 40 years of trading at its conference at the Palace Hotel, Torquay, last month.
More than 170 members and guests attended the event and 69 suppliers took part in a trade show and exhibition at the hotel.
Anne Tomlinson, chief executive of Sterling, reported that the group is in double digit growth in what has been a tough trading year.
She put this down to the service and individuality the members are able to offer customers and the competitive edge gained from being part of a national group.
A number of existing members expanded their premises during the 2006 and four new members have been recruited – Lord Premier of Birmingham, Cibo of Belfast, Freezer Fare of Clacton on Sea and Mancunian Foods of Manchester.
Annual turnover for the group is now in excess of pound;490m. The company’s AGM was held at the conference and the existing chairman and the main board were re-elected.
A visit was arranged to group member Caterfood (SW) Limited. Caterfood has opened a new ambient and chilled warehouse during the year.
Mark Felton and Buck Taylor of Caterfood showed other members their operation, computer systems and the satellite tracking systems used on all delivery and representatives’ vehicles.
Felton reported that the latter system has been effective in managing timed deliveries in a very busy seasonal area and has also reduced insurance premiums considerably.