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2013: biggest and best Country Range Group event


More than 400 delegates – the largest-ever number by some distance – attended the 2013 Country Range Group Exhibition and Conference in Brighton, which was also used to celebrate the Group’s 21st anniversary following its formation in 1992.

The 2013 Conference and Exhibition (26-27 June) were held at The Brighton Centre, with the Gala Dinner at The Grand and delegates accommodated on Brighton seafront in both The Grand and Thistle hotels.

Colin Birchall, Country Range Group Managing Director, opened the conference with a keynote address in which he welcomed three new members to the Group. While Devon-based Caterfood and Valley Foods from Jersey in the Channel Islands had become members earlier in the year, the announcement that Glasgow-based Dunns Food and Drinks is to join the Group, from the first of October 2013, was made at the event.


In his review of progress, Colin Birchall revealed that group turnover in 2012 was £320m, with branded and frozen sales up 21% and 27% respectively year on year. He also told delegates that between them, group members now have 330 field and telesales personnel and 450 delivery vehicles.

He also revealed plans for a new event, ‘An evening with Country Range’ which will be held in Canary Wharf, London on 4 December 2013. The evening will include the new-look Country Range Supplier Awards and will be used to unveil the Group’s future plans.

With 90 companies participating, almost 20 more than last year, the 2013 Country Range Exhibition at the Brighton Centre was the largest to date. The exhibition was busy throughout the day, with Whitby Seafoods being nominated winner of the ‘best stand’ award.

The closing conference session included a lively and entertaining presentation by Levi Roots (above), the brains and personality behind the ‘Reggae Reggae’ brand.

Levi then assisted Coral Rose, Group Marketing & Projects Manager, in presenting the 2013 Country Range Group Member of the Year Awards.

The award for ‘Best Brand Performance’ went to Essex Foodservice Group; ‘Best Own Brand Performance’ went to Thomas Ridley Foodservice; Best Group Support Award was presented to Birchall Foodservice; and the Telesales Focus Team Award went to Ilfracombe Foodservice.

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