How logistic solutions can secure the future for small-scale food producers
Even before the corona crisis, many of Sweden's small-scale food producers had difficulties to reach out on their local markets. For more efficient processes and increased industrialization, AFRY has developed a coordination model that will now be tested in a pilot project in the countryside of Sörmland, south of Stockholm.
During the corona crisis, many of the country's smaller food producers were hit hard when food markets were cancelled and restaurants drastically reduced their purchases. This has highlighted a problem that already existed, that many of the country's small-scale food producers have difficulties to reach out on the local market with their high-quality products. Distribution and sales are often carried out in an inefficient way, which leads to the producers focusing a lot on things outside of their core competence.
Today, there are a number of promising approaches to the problem, but the question is whether these are sustainable in the longer term, as transport and coordination are often complicated for both producers and customers with these solutions. Today there are primarily clusters of different types where both coordination and distribution are coordinated, such as “REKO-rings” where products are sold from producer to consumer over Facebook, the Farmer's market and local food retailers that take in and sell the products.
–Producers and customers thus have a whole range of marketing channels to get involved in. But we see that these approaches would benefit from coordination for increased viability, sustainability and scalability, says Karin Brodin, Senior Supply Chain Consultant at AFRY.
With a structured collaboration on market exposure and the underlying logistics, it’s possible to ensure efficiency and coordination. Already, a few partners in the same region could gain a great deal from such cooperation, a first step towards an industrialized solution that is also cost-effective and sustainably balanced.
AFRY is now launching a pilot project for producers in Sörmland (region south of Stockholm) where this coordination model will be tested in practice. Just a week ago AFRY had a first webinar together with Stolt mat in Sörmland as part of the project.
For AFRY, it’s always important that our solutions not only create great value for the customer but are also sustainable and that this work is carried out both internationally and in the local community.
–Food production is a key issue of our time. Therefore, smart, efficient and environmentally friendly logistics solutions are an increasingly important piece of the puzzle in order to achieve a sustainable food supply. I feel proud that we at AFRY have the expertise and tools needed to help local food producers gain greater profitability and sustainability in their businesses, says Marie Trogstam, Head of Sustainability at AFRY.
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