Birmingham-based dealer W V Howe scooped the inaugural John Kitchin Memorial Award for the Most Improved Member at last night’s Cedabond Awards, which were held during the CEDA Conference at the Heythrop Park Resort, Chipping Norton.
The distributor was awarded the top accolade ahead of C&C Catering Equipment, GS Group and UHC. John Kitchin’s son and current MD of C&C Catering Equipment, Peter Kitchin, presented the trophy and said of the decision to re-name the category after his late father: “I would like to thank Cedabond, it’s a real honour and a very fitting category as my dad always tried to improve in his life.
“He would have been chuffed. My dad loved the catering industry and he always seemed to do the right thing and made the right decisions.” Cedabond will also make a donation to an organisation John supported during his life, the Salvation Army.
The ceremony and dinner additionally saw spares specialist First Choice Group pick up the Most Improved Supplier, Light Equipment trophy, beating DPS Tableware, Mitchell & Cooper and Zodiac Stainless Steel Products.
EAIS (East Anglian Installation Systems) claimed the equivalent award in the Heavy Equipment category ahead of Hobart Independent, Sammic and Maidaid.
The Bob McNab Charity Award, presented to the member or supplier of the buying consortium who has made an outstanding contribution to charity, was this year awarded to Peter Galliford, commercial director at Mechline Developments. Among other things, he cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End last year to raise awareness and funds for cancer charities Macmillan and the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre in London, in memory of his brother and friends including Andrew Humble of Humble Arnold. Over £10,000 was raised in total.
After collecting the trophy, Galliford told the assembled luminaries: “You don’t undertake such ventures for recognition. I’m really grateful we could raise so much for charity, thanks to the generosity of this industry. It was a wonderful adventure – tough, but worth it.
“All of us should be encouraged that we can make a difference. We can make it a better world, live life and have a blast.” Cedabond will also be making a donation to a charity of Galliford’s choice.
The night itself served as a fundraiser for industry charity, Hospitality Action, with attendees donating more than £2,500 in a game of heads or tails involving rugby action replays.
Cedabond chairman and executive director Phil Martin commented on the event: “It’s always a pleasure to present these awards each year, recognising outstanding contributions from our members and suppliers. It is these enormous efforts, and, of course the continued efforts of all of our members and suppliers, not just those recognised here this evening, that help to keep Cedabond in the spotlight.”
Earlier in the day, Martin addressed the group’s members and suppliers at the Cedabond AGM and a subsequent supplier meeting. At both gatherings he revealed that the buying consortium enjoyed a record transaction turnover of over £82m last year.
Signs are positive for 2019 too, with the first 2 months up 7.3% compared to the previous year. February sales were the best to date, reaching an impressive £5,772,000 despite the continuing uncertainty over Brexit.
The 2018 Chairman’s Report, in which the information was officially published, showed that 11 new members were welcomed last year, alongside five new suppliers, strengthening Cedabond’s position as a buying group dedicated to maximising financial rewards and growing business for its members.
Martin added: “Once again we are in a strong position moving forward, having achieved record results for yet another year.
“Today we have a membership of over 130 distributors, and buying agreements with 80 suppliers. Our success lies in our hardworking partnership with them all. Our aim is to provide growth and profit for all our distributors and suppliers, irrespective of their role in the marketplace.
“Our website continues to go from strength to strength with suppliers increasingly updating it with promotions and superb exclusive membership offers, further underlining our unrivalled proposition for yet another year.”