Caterforce recently hosted the annual shareholder meeting of the European Catering Distributors group (ECD), with the 15 members from 17 different countries established for independent foodservice buying groups and wholesalers to share knowledge, best practice and mutual trading terms with global suppliers.
Taking place at Lynas Foodservice and attended by Gary Mullineux, managing director of Caterforce, as well the buying group’s new chairman, Castell Howell chairman Matt Lewis, the meeting included a tour of the depot and demonstrations of the efficiencies made since the wholesaler launched its new warehouse management system. The Lynas team also showcased its ambition to achieve 75% renewable energy by October 2023 through installation of solar panels and a wind turbine.
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Mullineux joined the Board of the ECD last year, and said the buying group is already reaping the benefits of its membership. “There is a strong synergy with the ethos of ECD and Caterforce. ECD’s focus on independent foodservice means their members have the same ambitions and challenges as our own buying group. Members share knowledge and best practice on everything from centralised ERPs to multi-country purchasing collaborations as well as strategies to service national accounts.”
Lewis added: “As the new Chairman of Caterforce, it was great to meet leaders of other multi-million pound buying groups. It has been really interesting to learn about their different business models and how they are supporting their wholesaler members in such a competitive and challenging market.”
“It was a privilege to host the ECD shareholder meeting at our depot in Coleraine,” said Andrew Lynas. “Over the years Lynas has benefitted from the support and knowledge of Caterforce and it is great that Gary and the team are striving to push the group forward and share best practice from our European counterparts.”