Newly appointed Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) chairman Andrew Selley has vowed to build on relationships with suppliers while helping to navigate members through Brexit and other industry pressures.

Mr Selley, chief executive of Bidvest Foodservice, said Brexit will be a “predominant theme” and he is focused on raising the FWD’s profile and promoting its work to the government.

“We encourage our members to know their MPs and to make sure they know their issues,” said Mr Selley. “It is not always about the big story – it is about the local story too.”

Following the work done by his predecessor Martin Williams to integrate foodservice, Mr Selley – the first chairman in the FWD’s 98-year history to come from foodservice distribution –  said he intends to focus on further building and maintaining relationships across all areas of the sector.

“I am not going to lose sight of the fact that we represent retail wholesalers and convenience store customers among others, but, as a foodservice representative, I probably have less-developed relationships with tobacco or beer suppliers, for example, so it is about raising their profile in our business as well.”