The Scottish Wholesale Association has appointed experienced wholesale executive and retailer Colin Smith as its new chief executive.

Smith will replace Kate Salmon, who is retiring after leading the SWA for 35 years.

He was Scottish regional manager for Bestway’s symbol group Best-one before founding the award-winning Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh.

Smith previously worked for Bellevue Cash & Carry in Edinburgh in various marketing roles before moving to Costco Wholesale as marketing manager. He then returned to Bellevue as marketing manager, before being appointed to the Best-one position following the acquisition of Bellevue by Batley Wholesale in 2010.

SWA president Julie Dunn said: “Colin’s wide-ranging experience of the wholesale industry, spanning both foodservice and retail, plus his strengths in marketing, will bring depth and knowledge to our association as we support our members in times of change both within the trade and on the political landscape.

“Our role is to ensure a healthy, dynamic and relevant trade association. Colin understands the many challenges facing our members and suppliers, and is ideally placed to take forward our work in promoting wholesale as a vibrant industry which offers great career opportunities.”

Smith said that an early priority would be to meet members and forge closer relationships with suppliers.

“Wholesale provides suppliers with an excellent opportunity to tap into the strong route to market that our members’ independent retail and foodservice outlets customers offer – I want to get that message across loud and clear and I also want to hear their views so we can tailor our offer to specific sectors of our wholesale membership,” he said.

Kate Salmon will work with Smith over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth handover.