Connect & Inspire Caterforce Conference 2022

Connect & Inspire Caterforce Conference 2022

Our sixth conference, named Connect & Inspire, was held at the ICC Wales and The Celtic Manor Resort last week. The event was attended by more than 250 delegates and kicked off with a ‘meet the member’ networking session before presentations from senior members of the Caterforce group talking about marketing initiatives, sustainability and regional specialisms.

Throughout the day we heard from customers across UK and Ireland, plus presentations from Charles Banks from The Food People and TWC’s Tom Fender who shared the results of a recent survey of more than 1,000 of our members’ customers.

“The customer survey results provided by TWC were fascinating and it was great to hear that over 50% of our customers said they were feeling positive about the future of their businesses despite the negative press around the economy,” said Lucy Boland, Group Marketing Director. “All our members are taking a customer-centric approach to marketing and so this type of first-hand feedback is truly invaluable.”

The conference culminated in an inspiring keynote speech by Ben Fogle, before an awards evening celebrating performance over the previous 12 months, including the Lifetime Achievement award which went to Philip Parker, Purchasing Director at Pilgrim Foodservice.

“The conference was a huge success, and it was a privilege to share our sales growth and future plans with our suppliers and members,” said Gary Mullineux, Managing Director, Caterforce.

“Our eight family-owned members are investing more than £36m next year in their people, fleet and warehouses and by 2025 we expect our group turnover to hit three quarters of a billion pounds. At Caterforce we work collaboratively with members and suppliers to achieve the best commercials to make our members thrive.”

“During the conference we shared the regional specialisms of our members, which is something we champion at Caterforce. It was also fantastic to see our members making huge strides to becoming even more sustainable and hear about what they are doing to support both their teams and their local communities.”

In the evening we held an Awards Dinner, with the very deserving winners having been voted for by the Caterforce members:

Supplier awards:

  • Most Innovative Product – Norseland for Applewood Vegan Slices
  • Marketing Excellence – La Lorraine for Donut Worry Be Happy
  • Sustainability Champion – Tilda for responsible sourcing and their work to tackle poverty
  • Best Service Levels – d’Arta
  • Own Brand Supplier of the Year – More Food
  • Branded Supplier of the Year – d’Arta
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Philip Parker, Purchasing Director at Pilgrim Foodservice.

Thankyou to everyone who attended and made the event a huge success. We look forward to working with you in in 2023 and beyond.

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