Fairway Foodservice marks 30th anniversary with £600,000 in deals

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More than £600,000 worth of orders were concluded as part of celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of leading buying group Fairway Foodservice.

Fairway Foodservice’s celebrations coincided with its biannual Meet the Member event, which saw 30 new frozen lines listed and 29 ambient products join Fairway’s range of exclusive own-label produce.

The buying group’s 18 members concluded deals with suppliers from across the UK and Ireland. The Meet the Member event was the second held by Fairway Foodservice in 2014, bringing the total amount spent with suppliers at events alone to more than £1.3 million.

And following a vote to select new products to join Fairway Foodservice’s own-label range of products, attendees marked three decades of success for the buying group, which has an annual turnover of £498 million, at a black-tie dinner.

Chris Binge, chief executive of Fairway Foodservice, said: “It was fantastic to mark our anniversary, and for our members to complete £600,000 worth of orders shows how successful an event it was.

“We’re very proud of the success we’ve shared with our members over the last 30 years, and the members event and dinner were a great way to celebrate that partnership.

“We received overwhelming positive feedback on the event, and we are already looking forward to our next ‘Meet the Member’ event in March 2015.”

Fairway Foodservice, which was founded by five frozen food wholesalers in 1984,has grown from an initial collective turnover of £7 million to more than £498 millionin 2013.

The Meet the Member event, held at Villa Park, Birmingham, saw representatives from all 18 Fairway Foodservice members hold short speed-dating style appointments with 20 suppliers.

The event also featured the launch of 29 new own-label products, including a range of sliced meats, sandwich fillings, ethnic sauces and butter blocks. The new produce brings the total number of Fairway Foodservice branded produce to more than 560 items.

Members, suppliers and guests of Fairway Foodservice then celebrated the group’s anniversary with a black-tie dinner at Birmingham’s Thinktank museum, hosted by gameshow host Roy Walker.

Simon Howarth, managing director at Total Foodservice Solutions, one of the founding members of Fairway Foodservice, said: “We were very happy to take part in Fairway’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

“The group’s Meet the Member events are a fantastic opportunity to meet up with other people in the foodservice industry and talk about how business is at the moment.

Bernard Broderick, of Dublin-based homemade cake supplier Broderick Brothers, said: “It was a really successful afternoon for us. Fairway’s event is a great opportunity to showcase products we’re really proud of, and to get constructive feedback from the foodservice industry.“

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