We recently attended the 55th Sterling Supergroup Annual Conference at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham. The conference consisted of a golf day, supplier exhibition and dinners.
2021 marks 55 years since the founding of the buying group which now has a turnover of £450 million. Members consist of various companies located throughout the United Kingdom, who in turn supply thousands of catering outlets. There are over 40 delivered wholesalers operating 57 depots with around 550 vehicles. Between the membership nearly 2000 are employed.
Sterling Super Group also runs a private label – Sterling Caterers Essentials – which has been operating since 2009, consisting of well over 300 catering lines. This includes ambient, frozen, fresh & chilled foods, and non-foods.
The annual conference is usually a three day event. However, due to Covid this years meeting was reduced to two days. Conference venues are rotated annually to ensure members have an equal distance to travel each year.
The first morning marked the start of the golf day. This was well attended by both members and suppliers. Managing Director, Gary particularly enjoyed the golf day which took place on the fantastic Prince Bishops’ course, at Ramside Hall. The course provided stunning views of the surrounding countryside with Durham Cathedral sitting in the distance. The event was sponsored, as usual, by Nestle UK.
In the evening there was a formal dinner followed by the golf presentation. The first evening gave members and suppliers the chance to catch up on events and business in what had been a difficult 18 months through the pandemic. It was interesting to hear how COVID had affected so many businesses and how those businesses had adapted to meet the challenges they faced.
On the morning of the second day there was a guest speaker who spoke for an hour or so and this was followed by the Sterling Group exhibition. The exhibition is a trade show comprising 50 or so manufacturers. Visits to customers by manufacturers have been reduced considerably over the past 18 months due to Covid so this event gives members the opportunity to both meet their manufacturers and look at their new products and product ranges.
In the evening there was a gala dinner and a charity tombola, which raised funds for Cancer Research UK. The top prize was a 55 inch television to celebrate 55 years of business. The conference was a huge success and we are looking forward to attending the 56th annual conference in 2022.