SUPPLIERS currently not benefiting from membership of the Scottish Wholesale Association are being invited to attend the trade association's first dedicated networking on 15th November.

The event will take place at Glasgow's Hampden Park Stadium, the home of Scottish football, on Tuesday, 15th November. Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based SWA, explained: "While the Scottish Wholesale Association already enjoys fantastic support from a large number of leading suppliers, we feel that there are many more who do not yet fully understand what we do or appreciate the unique access to Scotland's wholesalers that membership of our Association can provide.

"The networking event will provide an ideal opportunity for us to explain the aims and objectives of the SWA to suppliers who are not currently members, and also allow us to update suppliers on our key events and activities, such as Scottish Wholesale Achievers, our well-attended Annual Conference, our key lobbying role and our much-respected training programme.

"As an Association, we value the input of the UK's suppliers as they play a valuable role in the success of our wholesale members' businesses. It goes without saying that strong links between wholesalers and suppliers are vital to the continued growth and future prosperity of a wholesale marketplace that is both dynamic and challenging."

The SWA Networking Day will be introduced by president George Benson and SWA executive director, Kate Salmon, who will welcome guests. Short presentations will also be made by Graeme Clark, managing director of Scottish-based supplier member, Scot Serve and Alan Halliday, regional director of Coca-Cola Enterprises, one of the Association's most prominent and longest-established supplier members.

Consultant Scott Brady of Dundee-based ecos will explain how the SWA plays a crucial role in guiding wholesalers through the myriad legislation they are faced with in their businesses on a daily basis. He will also discuss the Association's increasingly high-profile lobbying role which has seen the SWA contribute to key government and parliamentary debates on subjects including alcohol and tobacco legislation, packaging legislation and waste management.

Sandie Holmes, a consultant with 121 HR Solutions, the SWA's training provider, will discuss the Association's training programme and explain how this key service has been expanded and developed in recent years to create a rolling training programme that is relevant to the ever-changing requirements of Scottish wholesalers.

In addition, suppliers will hear how they can get involved in the SWA's training programme by providing skilled trainers, premises and materials to help wholesalers get the best out of their staff.

SWA president George Benson commented: "In the current challenging economic environment, it is absolutely crucial that wholesalers and suppliers have an ongoing dialogue which enables them to communicate effectively, share ideas and discuss any problems as soon as they arise.

"SWA supplier members benefit from easy access to our wholesale members. But they can also request meetings with our licensed and non-licensed strategy committees whose members comprise key decision-makers from leading wholesalers trading north of the Border whose role is to represent the wider wholesale industry - not their own wholesale operations - on any number of pertinent issues.

"We want to work with suppliers to influence their marketing and selling strategies in order to ensure a fair and balanced trading platform for Scottish wholesalers. The Scottish Wholesale Association prides itself on its transparency and we hope to welcome potential new members interested in finding out more to our networking event at Hampden in November."

Any supplier currently not benefiting from SWA membership and who would like to attend the SWA Networking Day should contact Kate Salmon on 0131 556 8753/07767 227 597. You can also email for further details.