The times they are a-changing: SWA reveals line-up and format for its 2017 conference

Social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn (pictured above), the man behind the not-for-profit Social Bite sandwich shop chain and Brewgooder craft beer, and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will give keynote presentations at the 2017 Scottish Wholesale Association Annual (SWA) Conference.

Littlejohn, whose influence has brought Hollywood A-listers George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio to Edinburgh to speak at the Scottish Business Awards, will talk about Social Bite and his new restaurant venture, Home.

Social Bite has also recently announced plans to build a village to support homeless people in Edinburgh.

Brewgooder, the world’s first craft beer to donate 100% of its profits to clean water projects, is also supported by JW Filshill’s managing director Simon Hannah and Chris Miller, group commercial director, who both sit on the company’s board. Filshill distributes the brand.

Ruth Davidson, who was recently awarded the Scottish Politician of the Year award, is the MSP for Edinburgh Central. She has won plaudits from across the political spectrum – both at Holyrood and Westminster – for her debating skills and is also known for her sharp wit and sense of humour.

Originally from Glasgow, Davidson is a graduate of Edinburgh University and a former BBC journalist who also served in the Territorial Army as a signaller before she entered politics. She became the first female Scottish politician to appear as a panellist on the BBC One satirical news show Have I Got News for You and is an accomplished kickboxer.

Other speakers confirmed for the 2017 Annual Conference – themed ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ – include:

  • Asim Sarwar, managing director, United Wholesale (Scotland)
  • Robert Graham, managing director of Graham’s The Family Dairy
  • Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • Tim Clay, sales director of Asahi UK Ltd
  • Iannick Melancon, sales director of Danone Evian
  • Laura McKechnie, associate director, Coca-Cola European Partners
  • Richard Crabtree, group sales director, Quorn

This a slightly different format with the gala banquet dinner taking place on the Friday and the Saturday adopting a sporting theme to accommodate the Scotland v England World Cup qualifying match at Hampden.

All queries about the conference, which takes place at Crieff Hydro from June 9-11, should be directed to Kate Salmon or Jo Mathieson on 0131 556 8753.

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