Tom Slaven2

Tom Slaven, retail director of Glasgow-based United Wholesale Grocers, has been elected president of the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA).

Succeeding Julie Dunn, operations director of Blantyre-based Dunns Food and Drinks, who has held the position for six years, Slaven will be appointed at the upcoming AGM on 18 June 2024.

Previously working for drinks suppliers Anheuser-Busch and Asahi UK, Slaven has been a member of the SWA council for several years and brings a “wealth of experience to the role of president,” said SWA.

Slaven explained that he looks forward to developing Dunn’s “groundworking work” and to put his own stamp on the association.

He said: “Replacing such a respected wholesale operator is slightly daunting but I know that Julie and the rest of the council – and chief executive Colin Smith – will support me as we work together to progress and build on the excellent work that SWA is doing across several key areas.

“The sector in Scotland is collaborative and innovative, driven by people who are ambitious and not afraid to take risks – and that’s what makes it such an exciting place to be. Our suppliers are also willing to work with us and share information, bolstering our industry and getting the message across that wholesale is an effective route to market.

“I also take inspiration from wholesale stalwart Eddie Lynagh, formerly of Booker, who served as SWA president on two occasions, and always stressed to me that without good people our industry would not thrive. Fast-forward to 2024 and our sector – both wholesalers and suppliers – is proof that people with drive, ambition and ideas can collectively ensure that wholesale continues to grow and make a significant contribution to the Scottish food and drink supply chain.”

Commenting on Tom’s appointment, chief executive of SWA Colin Smith said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tom Slaven as our new president, taking over from Julie Dunn whose sterling work over the last six years has helped SWA cement its position as relevant and focused trade association with its members and people at its core.

“We thank Julie for her hard work and commitment in the knowledge that Tom is an equally passionate advocate for our industry who has ideas of his own to help the SWA evolve as the association develops its existing interests and ventures into new areas, serving members on the many issues and challenges that affect our sector.”