SWA reveals conference line-up

Scottish wholesalers are set to explore the raft of opportunities on offer to them this year at the Scottish Wholesaler Association (SWA) annual conference.

The independence referendum, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and Homecoming Scotland mean that there is a wealth of business potential in Scotland this year for both retailers and caterers. How wholesalers can help their customers take advantage of what’s on offer will be a key discussion point at the “Going for Gold” conference, taking place in Crieff in June.

The SWA’s mentoring programme will also take centre stage as mentees Paul Dickson of Booker and Stuart Harrison, a buyer at JW Filshill, talk about their experience of taking part in the training initiative, along with businessman and ex-Bellevue owner Graham Benson, one of the mentors.

Keynote speakers at this year’s conference also include John Howie, chairman of CBI Scotland and managing director of Marine Babcock, Marine amp; Technology Division who will discuss “The Health of the Nation”. Another fresh perspective on business will come from Tamlin Roberts, managing director of Mercurytide, a digital specialist that builds and designs intelligent back office systems, websites and mobile apps as well as creating online marketing and e-commerce solutions.

This year’s motivational speaker is Dr Katherine Grainger CBE, the world-class rower who won a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012. Also speaking at the 2014 conference will be: Peter Lederer, chairman of The Gleneagles Group; and Jill Livesey, director of research consultancy him!

Wholesalers addressing the conference include: Julie Dunn, operations director, Dunns Food and Drinks and senior vice-president, SWA; Bill Laird, managing director, Today’s Wholesale Services; Philip Jenkins, chief executive, Sugro; Martin Williams, managing director, Landmark Wholesale; and Chris Gallacher of Booker, SWA junior vice-president.

Delegates can also look forward to thought-provoking presentations from suppliers including: Nick Dawson, customer director, Kellogg’s; Stephen Glancey, group chief executive, C amp;C Group and Tennent Caledonian Breweries; James Barge, head of regulatory affairs, Philip Morris; Jamie Dunning, vice-president sales, Mars Chocolate; Bryan Donaghey, chief executive, Whyte amp; Mackay; Martin Glenn, chief executive, United Biscuits and Jonathan Kemp, commercial director, AG Barr

SWA president Asim Sarwar, managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland), who will open and close the conference, said: “We have a particularly strong business programme this year but our conference goes further than that – it’s a valuable networking opportunity but also a family-friendly event with a varied social programme for everyone to enjoy.

“This is an incredibly important year for Scotland and SWA members, with the support of suppliers, should be looking to capitalise on the opportunities that high-profile events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup will bring.”

Bookings for the conference, taking place at Crieff Hydro in Perthshire from 13-15 June. Contact Kate Salmon or Margaret Wilson on 0131 556 8753 or kate.swa@btconnect.com. More details at: www.scottishwholesale.co.uk

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