United Convenience Buyers CEO Darren Park, addressing the group’s national conference on the Gold Coast this week, made a point of highlighting UCB’s commitment to independent P&C retailers.
Mr Park, reviewing the previous year, also emphasised the company’s obligation to its ‘inches’ mantra when striving for excellence.
“It’s the little things that make the biggest difference,” he said in his speech, which opened the event’s business sessions on Wednesday.
The conference, at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, was held over three days, beginning on Monday with a members’ welcome dinner.
On Tuesday, members joined in a range of activities, including go-karting and a winery tour, before being treated to a poolside dinner and a fireworks display.
Following Mr Park’s speech on Wednesday morning, prominent speakers addressing the business sessions included Shopper Tracker Australia and New Zealand Program Director Brett Barclay, who emphasised changes in the P&C channel towards improved health and quality in products and services beyond the forecourt.
UCB’s Kevin Azzopardi joined Mr Barclay on stage, discussing lessons gleaned from the company’s international education tours, as well as P&C’s increasing focus on café offerings.
Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, business and financial commentator Peter Switzer and Beechworth Bakery founder Tom O’Toole also addressed the event.
After the business sessions, the trade show featured prominent displays from manufacturers and the UCB café concept in action, as well as showcasing ‘Mountain Dew Kickstart’, UCB’s flagship product feature for the event.
A ‘Heroes and Villains’ themed gala dinner followed on Wednesday evening, during which the group’s annual awards were presented.
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) received the Grade Champion award, Parmalat was awarded Trade Stand of the Year, Mrs Mac’s was named Food Manufacturer of the Year and other trade partner category winners included Frucor, Nestlé, Pacific Optics and The Distributors.
Caltex Kurri Kurri was named Store of the Year (Single Store Operator), while Westside Cooma was awarded Store of the Year (Multi-Site operator). Frucor’s Jacinda Lythgo won the Trade Partner Representative of the Year award and Cornetto took out Product of the Year for its $2 ‘loose change’ Cornetto range.
The UCB national conference will be covered extensively in the December issue of Convenience World magazine.