More than 400 delegates attended the 2013 Country Range Group Exhibition and Conference in Brighton, on the celebration of the group’s 21st anniversary.
Managing director Colin Birchall opened the conference with a keynote address in which he welcomed three new members to the group.
While Devon-based Caterfood and Valley Foods from Jersey in the Channel Islands had become members earlier in the year, the announcement that Glasgow-based Dunns Food and Drinks is to join the group, from the first of October 2013, was made at the event.
Birchall also revealed that group turnover in 2012 was £320million, with branded and frozen sales up 21 per cent and 27 per cent respectively year on year.
He also told delegates that between them, group members now have 330 field and telesales personnel and 450 delivery vehicles.
Essex Foodservice took top honours for the Best Brand Performance award, while the other winners were Thomas Ridley, Birchall Foodservice and Ilfracombe Foodservice, in the respective categories for Best Own Label Performance, Best Group Support and the Telesales Focus Team award.
Entrepreneur Levi Roots was the guest speaker and told delegates about his journey from making sauce in his kitchen with his children to appearing on Dragon’s Den and becoming a successful supplier to retailers including Sainsbury’s.