Phil appointed president of national fuel trade association

The deputy managing director of one of the county’s largest employee-owned businesses has been appointed as the new president of the United Kingdom and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA).

Phil Murray of Brampton-based WCF was previously a board member and vice president of UKIFDA.

UKIFDA is the trade association for the liquid fuels distribution industry and gives members a collective national voice to help optimise business efficiencies and promote best practice in the industry.

WCF is a part employee-owned business operating across several sectors including leisure, e-commerce, home shopping, pet and equestrian stores, and oil distribution.

Phil said: “I am honoured to take on the role of president of UKIFDA and committed to advancing the association’s mission of promoting renewable fuel solutions and driving positive change within the fuel distribution industry.”

The appointment will help support UKIFDA’s Future Ready Fuel campaign to promote new fuel solutions in the UK and Ireland. 

Earlier this year, WCF joined UKIFDA in calling for the Government to slash the tax on renewable liquid heating fuels, such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

HVO offers an accessible and affordable alternative for around four million people in 1.7 million households across the UK who rely on off-grid heating but is currently taxed at a higher rate than fossil fuels such as kerosene heating oil, creating a financial barrier for householders looking to switch to greener alternatives.

Phil said: “The primary purpose of UKIFDA is to support our members to run their businesses safely, sustainably, and successfully. We act as the voice for our industry at the highest level, helping the Government better understand the important role our members play in supporting local communities and businesses. 

“Currently we are promoting the adoption of renewable liquid fuels as a way of decarbonising our economy whilst minimising the disruption to existing users of liquid fossil fuels. In recent years we have successfully demonstrated that HVO is a viable alternative for many customers, however the price of HVO is currently prohibitive when compared with the cost of fossil fuels due to the disparity on duty between renewable liquid fuels and fossil fuels when used for home heating.

“UKIFDA is prioritising sensible, fact-based discussions with oil suppliers, distributors, civil servants and OFTEC to agree a workable roadmap towards a greener future for our industry.”

Newcastle-born Phil joined WCF in 2018 following a career as a chartered accountant, working with businesses to achieve growth in the manufacturing and housing sectors.

Over the last six years, he has worked on a diverse range of campaigns and projects with businesses across the WCF family, leading on fuel distribution.

As a member of UKIFDA, WCF continues to be a leading supplier of liquid fuels to customers across the country.  

Phil added: “Over recent years we have invested heavily in our depots, tankers, and people to build resilience and provide our customers with a trusted, reliable service.  Our fuel distribution sites are based in the North West, Cumbria, North East, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.  

“I’m fortunate to be able to travel between our sites as business needs dictate which has allowed me to build strong relationships with my teams but also better understand how they each operate and the customer base they serve.”

Ken Cronin, UKIFDA chief executive said: “Phil Murray’s appointment as the new president of UKIFDA is a positive development for the association and the fuel distribution industry as a whole. 

“In addition to supporting the association’s ongoing initiatives, Phil’s expertise will help ensure the effectiveness of the Future Ready Fuel campaign in promoting new fuel solutions in the UK and Ireland.”

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