The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has outlined plans to review and modernise the way it operates.
President Julie Dunn, speaking at the association’s annual conference in Crieff, in Perth and Kinross, said that while recent changes had been successful in focusing the SWA’s function to better reflect the needs of its membership, it was vital that it was in a strong position to address major strategic and commercial issues.
“We are a good association,” said Dunn, “but like many trade associations we have been a bit sheltered from the forces which impact on our members in their everyday business environments – political, social, economic and technological. So how does the SWA be a great trade association? We’ll start by making sure that we are match-fit for the future.”
The governing council, she continued, had to be as efficient as possible with the right people operating within the right structure so that change can be continually effected for the good of the association and wider industry. Dunn said: “I’m not here to change for change’s sake – we’re not reacting to anything drastic. We just want to ensure that we have a strong set of core values which will endure – we absolutely must maintain a drive for progress.”
One development mentioned was the creation of the SWA Foodservice Group to reflect the growing importance of foodservice in wholesale and also the association’s membership which includes national and international wholesalers, family businesses and suppliers. “We need to ensure that our Council covers all categories of membership,” Dunn added.
Dunn concluded: “It’s vital that we are shoring up the council structure with the use of category-specific working groups and ensuring representation across our membership – suppliers and wholesalers. It is important that this transparency, this accessibility, is clearly and effectively communicated.
Julie Dunn is operations director of Dunns Food and Drinks and the first-ever female president of the Scottish Wholesale Association.
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