JW FILSHILL, Scotland's oldest independent food and drink wholesaler, has been named the best wholesale business in Scotland for an unprecedented sixth time at the prestigious Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards.

Achievers, now in its 10th year, created and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association, recognises professionalism and excellence across all sectors of the wholesale industry in Scotland. Some 500 people attended the gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by BBC Scotland TV presenter Catriona Shearer at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on Thursday (9th February).

JW Filshill, based at Hillington, Glasgow fended off stiff competition from businesses the length and breadth of Scotland to win the sought-after Champion of Champions accolade, sponsored by Britvic Soft Drinks. But the company also won two other categories: Best Retail Wholesaler (Delivered), sponsored by Diageo; and a new award for 2012, the Corporate Responsibility Award, sponsored by Imperial Tobacco.

Judges praised Filshill's efforts in "driving both efficiencies and business development by focusing on improving technology" within its business. They commented: "This focus provides cost savings and, importantly, gives its retail customers a greater understanding of how to engage with the consumer.

"Strong supplier relationships executed through joint business plans again focus on the end consumer and therefore ensure consistently impressive retail standards."

JW Filshill supplies 160-plus KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England.

Simon Hannah, the company's managing director, paid tribute to a "hard-working, passionate and committed team", and described winning Champion of Champions for the sixth time as "an incredible achievement". He said: "We are constantly striving to push boundaries within the industry and develop our business while always ensuring that we offer the highest possible levels of customer service."

Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Wholesale Association, commented: "The last 12 months have been tough for our industry but it comes as no surprise to see such high levels of innovation coming through from Scotland's wholesalers.

"All of our winners have displayed exceptionally high levels of customer service and invested in their businesses in a financial climate that remains uncertain. By taking risks and embracing the partnership ethos that Achievers promotes they have set themselves an even higher benchmark to aspire to in the coming year.

"But that's what Achievers is all about. It encourages best practice within Scottish wholesaling and challenges wholesalers - big and small - to think differently and engage more effectively with suppliers. In my book, that makes every wholesaler who enters the competition a winner.

"We were ahead of the game when we launched Achievers 10 years ago and have tried to stay ahead of the game by acting on feedback and ideas from wholesalers, suppliers and judges alike to enhance our awards. This led us to introduce the new Corporate Responsibility and Supplier Sales Executive of the Year Awards.

"But this year, more than ever before, we have seen the value of individuals who champion the wholesale sector within their own businesses, often using persuasive and solid arguments to obtain additional budgets for Scotland.

"We are fully aware of the difficult economic climate but it is more important than ever to invest in our industry, and those who are open to new ideas have a much better chance of thriving than those who carry on doing as they have always done - regardless of consumer trends.

"As an association, we urge wholesalers and suppliers to use Achievers to enhance their business. It is a tremendous success story for our industry and I congratulate JW Filshill, our Champion of Champions for 2012 and, of course, each and every one of our winners."


The 2012 Roll of Honour

Champion of Champions, sponsored by Britvic Soft Drinks

JW Filshill

Best Cash & Carry Depot, sponsored by Kraft Foods

United Wholesale (Scotland), Queenslie

Best Retail Wholesaler - Delivered, sponsored by Diageo

JW Filshill

Best Retailer Development Programme, sponsored by JTI

United Wholesale (Scotland)

Best Foodservice Wholesaler - Delivered, sponsored by AG Barr


Best Licensed Wholesaler - Off-Trade, sponsored by Currie's

CJ Lang & Son

Best Licensed Wholesaler - On-Trade, sponsored by SHS and WKD

Sutherland Brothers

Corporate Responsibility Award, sponsored by Imperial Tobacco

JW Filshill

Best Marketing Initiative, sponsored by Mars Chocolate

Forteith Foodservice

Employee of the Year, sponsored by Premier Foods

Jamie Brodie, Booker Edinburgh A1

Best Advertising Campaign

Irn-Bru 'Phenomenal Summer'

Project Scotland

Coca-Cola Enterprises

Best Overall Service

AG Barr

Supplier Sales Executive of the Year, sponsored by Today's Group

Steven McGarry, AG Barr