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Confex Trade Show 2016

This year’s trade show will be held at the Four Pillars Hotel and Conference Centre, South Cerney, Glos., on Thursday 21st April. 82 Suppliers will be represented from the broad range of categories that Confex supports.


Barry Parish retired this week after 32 years’ service at Confex

Barry joined the business from Foodbrokers in 1983 as Business Development Director and played an integral part in the development of the Confex Group which now has a combined turnover of £1.97bn. During his tenure Barry oversaw the diversification from a CTN based Group to one that now encompasses grocery, foodservice, alcohol, tobacco and non-food categories to include a full range of ambient, chilled and frozen products. It was this foresight that has helped Confex become the most diverse wholesale buying group and provided the tools for growth during its 43 year history. Managing Director Nicky White comments ‘Barry’s understanding of the wholesale sector has been a key ingredient to the long term success of Confex. His business acumen along with his professionalism during his time at Confex has been second to none and we all wish him well in his retirement.’ Business Development Managers David Lunt and Tom Gittins said ‘Barry has always provided sound advice and encouragement under his Directorship. His subtle ability to pass on key skills and knowledge is testament to his passion and understanding for the wholesale sector. We hope we can carry on in his footsteps to ensure Confex can thrive for the next 32 years and beyond.’ Barry will enjoy his retirement spending more time with his family including his four grandchildren.


Confex Growth Incentive

After months of planning and organisation, the Member Growth Incentive winner’s short break abroad was upon us. The chosen destination was Vilamoura in the Algarve where we welcomed 22 Members and 28 suppliers for a 4 day trip that included one-to-one business meetings and some great pre-planned activities. It was the first time we had organised a Member Growth Incentive abroad. Members who had increased their turnover in the first quarter of this year over the same period in 2014 were rewarded with 4 days of relaxing in the late summer sun and the opportunity of special deals that suppliers offered during the One-to-One business meetings. One of the highlights of our stay was the boat trip along the Algarve coastline aboard the Condor de Vilamoura, a replica of the American fishing schooners that were built between 1825 and 1935. We returned to the Marina under full sail after a lovely lunch and swimming from the boat. The Algarve is renowned for its golf courses and 20 players enjoyed playing the Ocean Golf links course with beautiful views of the sea, whilst some Members chose to relax with a massage in the Satsunga Spa. “The Confex Member Growth Incentive was a fantastic opportunity to get to know Members on a more personal level in a relaxing environment away from day to day stresses we all take on. The beautiful surroundings, restaurants, nightlife really helped to put everyone at ease. This enabled me to understand the Members and their businesses in much more detail. Congratulations again to all the Members that made it a fantastic event” Shahil Patel, Britvic Soft Drinks (Sponsor) “I would like to offer a big thanks to each of you for the effort and organisation that went into making your inaugural foray into the world of foreign conferences a big success. All in all it went very smoothly, the 1-2-1 sessions were beneficial, the golf was superb, the interaction between Members, suppliers and central office all pulled together very well” Ross Brown (Premier Foods) “Thank you for a weekend that I will always remember!” Bob Murden, Murdens Soft Drinks & Snacks “Donna and I would like to say a big thank you for a great trip to Portugal. We couldn’t fault it and we know how hard it is to organise such an event so well done! A Big thank you to all the Suppliers in helping it to be a great success. Long may these trips continue.” Stuart Lane, Lansdells Soft Drinks “Thanks for putting on a really good trip in such a lovely location. Martin and I had a great time and are pleased with the outcome from the Supplier meetings” Kevin Chapple, Chapple & Jenkins


Confex Trade Show

The Confex Trade Show was held on Thursday 23rd April at the Four Pillars Hotel & Conference Centre, Glos. The night before Members and Suppliers and Confex staff enjoyed a dinner event at which many awards and trophies were presented to Suppliers of the Year 2014, winners of the Green Wholesaler Awards 2015, as well as the golf team winners that played that afternoon at the Cirencester Golf Club. The evening concluded with a popular Casino event that included Black Jack, Roulette and Chinese Dice. The following trading day was a great success with over 70 suppliers from most of the Confex broad range of products categories. Trade Show day is a wonderful opportunity to meet and do business with a good number of our best Members. This annual event is proving to be a firm fixture in The Confex calendar.


Green Wholesaler Award 2015

After visiting a selection of Members in both the foodservice and retail categories, Teresa Hall has nominated a handful of Members. The winners of each category and the overall winner will be announced at the Confex Trade Show Awards Dinner on Wednesday 22nd April, at the Four Pillars Hotel, South Cerney, Glos. Teresa was highly impressed with all the finalists. “There was so much enthusiasm for being ‘green’ with some Member companies finding ingenious ways to save money, such as using distilled water from their air con units in fork lift truck batteries.”


Member Communication

Our newsletter, Delivered!, is growing in content and importance as our main channel of communication with Members, for all supplier information and promotions. Throughout 2014 we have seen readership of the Delivered! Friday newsletter and the Delivered! promotion issue newsletter grow and we are awarding the Member who has most consistently opened these communications throughout the year. Congratulations go to Kentish Match who won a mini ipad!


Accessible Image Library

Confex is delighted to announce that it has developed its own product image library which is now accessible to all Members. This is extremely easy to access via the Member Area on the Confex website. The Image Library button will take you through to an A-Z directory of Suppliers. All product images are ordered alphabetically and are easily downloaded.


Supplier of the Year 2014

We are delighted to award the following titles to two suppliers who have shown exceptional commitment to working with Confex and its Members throughout 2014. This title is achieved when the supplier demonstrates a real understanding of how Confex works and is able to support its Members, each with their own individual requirements and challenges. Confex congratulates: • Coca Cola Enterprises as ‘Retail Supplier of the Year 2014’ • Heinz Foodservice as ‘Foodservice Supplier of the Year 2014’


Fund Raising for Charity

Over the last few years Confex has been active in raising money through Challenge Events. This year a team of Suppliers, Members and Confex staff were seen cycling and walking through the peaks and dales of Derbyshire on a multi-activity event that culminated in an abseil at Black Rock. A total of nearly £5,000 was raised for The Alzheimer’s Society, Contented Dementia Trust and Cancer Research. A special donation was given to Springfield School, a local school in Witney that takes children with learning disabilities. £10,000 was put towards the total cost of buying a minibus for the school, which David Lunt, Senior Business Development Manager, had also been raising funds for through his numerous marathons. The Head Teacher, Emma Lawley, and some pupils visited Confex Head Office to thank them for their donation. Confex has also supplied the Oxford Food Bank this year with products from drinks, catering and confectionery, all through Central Distribution. These include slightly damaged products, or those close to the sell by date and go towards supporting the local community.


The Trade Show 2015

The biggest trade event of the year, the annual Trade Show, will be held on Thursday 23rd April at the Four Pillars Hotel, South Cerney, Cirencester with the Awards dinner and Charity Golf Event on Wednesday 22nd April. (Octboer 2104)


2015 Plans

With the 2014 buying year coming to a conclusion and the P16 Retail and December Catering issue at the end of October / beginning of November, Confex has issued its 2015 Supplier Marketing and Member Services communication. New for 2015 is the introduction of a radical change to the way it disseminates promotional detail to Members, making this more informative and easy to use within their business. ESavers gains momentum with more members using the facility of creating their own sales brochures. The Member Incentive for 2015 offers winners a trip to Portugal, taking our event location abroad for the first time. (October 2014)


The Group Strengthens

As we head towards the end of 2014, Confex reaches a record Member turnover of £1.9bn. The membership comprises a wide range of member businesses with varying annual turnovers but all strong and with keen business acumen, keeping Confex and its Trading Managers on their toes! (October 2014)


Membership News

To date Confex has welcomed 30 new members into the Group in 2014 from a range of locations around the country. Their businesses vary in size and operation from Shaw’s Provisions, a Catering Wholesaler from Ashton Keynes who deals in Chilled and Grocery products, to The Ouseburn Wholesale Co, a van sales business in Newcastle dealing in a broad spectrum of products ranging from alcohol and confectionery to grocery (non-food). (October 2014)


Charity Challenge

We are delighted to announce that we are nearing the £5,000 mark raised for our 2 chosen charities, The Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research. Well done everyone who took part and helped to raise so much. (October 2014)


Confex Charity Challenge

After putting in hours of training, the day arrived and with a collective buzz of anticipation of the day ahead, a total of 30 suppliers, Confex staff and a few members gathered at Cromford. Tough from the start, the hill out of Cromford immediately turned a bunch of cyclists into a straggly line as one by one our feet hit the pavement. However, as the muscles warmed up we were away and soon put the worst of the hills behind us. After about 15 miles we switched to walking, scaling Bunster Hill and Thorpe Cloud with contours as impressive as any mountain in the Alps. Back on the bike for another 15 miles to Black Rock for an abseil before returning to Cromford for a well-earned pint. Well done to everyone who participated and a special mention to David Storey and Andrew Swift of Convenience Distribution (GWD) whose fitness has proved again to be super-human and outstripped the rest of the group. Truly awesome performance guys! To date we are proud to have raised £3,787 for the Alzheimer's Society and Cancer Research.The donation website automatically stays open for another 3 months, so if you would like to support these two great charities, please visit There are calls for another challenge next year, so watch this space...


Member Incentive at Goodwood

Sixty Confex Members and Suppliers attended the second Member Incentive at the Goodwood Hotel and racetrack for a two day event awarded as a prize for achieving growth in the Spring 2014 over the previous year’s trade. The two day event kicked off with an afternoon of speed dating sessions between the attending Suppliers and Members, which was well received by all those involved, “The speed dating format gave us the opportunity to speak with the Confex National Account Managers who are usually ‘one up the ladder’ from our day to day contact. This enabled us to focus on our joint strategy for the rest of 2014 and into 2015” commented Shyam Lakhani, Millenium Cash & Carry. The Goodwood Hotel hosted the event, and provided attendees with an excellent base to do business. The fun started the next day with teams alternating between three areas of the Goodwood racetrack involving a helicopter ride, go-karting, blind-folded mad moke driving, and even more, all co-ordinated by Mithril Racing. This was a wonderful bonding/team building experience for suppliers, members and Confex staff and we look forward to posting news of our next incentive for members for Spring 2015.

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