The petrol retailing industry was praised for its relentless pursuit of new opportunities, innovation and service excellence at the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards.

Ramsay MacDonald, retail director of the event’s principal sponsor Certas Energy, told a sell-out audience that the Forecourt Trader Awards are the UK’s premier event for the petrol retailing market, recognising best industry practice and celebrating those individuals who lead by example.

MacDonald drew particular attention to the renaissance of independently owned forecourts after five decades of almost continual decline.

“We welcome the resurgence of the independent, many of whom have become significant employers within their communities, as they develop their convenience offering and stand their ground against the supermarkets on value and choice. The hypers may always have the economic clout but when it comes to customer service and the shopping experience, petrol retailers are winning hands down!”

Certas Energy is the largest supplier to independent fuel retailers in Britain, with over 150 depots, nearly 1,000 tankers and 2,500 employees; together supplying more than 1,200 retail outlets nationwide including a network of almost 500 Gulf-branded forecourts.