Project “Baltic Sea Food” Survey report of B2B distribution solutions and cooperation models in local food sector


The Baltic Sea Food (BSF) project aims at developing a business model(s) by coordinating local food producers with regional food distributors and networks and finally with regional customers. The goal of the BSF project is to generate business model(s) and/or business distribution models by researching and analyzing ten target countries surrounding the Baltic sea region with respect to business to business opportunities.

The survey of excisting local food distribution models was conducted in from January to May in 2018. All of the partner countries had a good number of participants, though the number varied quite a lot. We got useful information from the survey to go on with the next steps of our project. To get more background for the information we recieved from the survey, a focus group interviews were conducted. The joint survey was coordinated byLahti University of Applied Sciences, research leader Bret Fifield, PhD.

In conclusion from the survey, the business model for local food distribution must address different requirements of 4 main target groups: producers, distributors, food nets and food providers/chefs. Despite of local differences that need to be taken into account, any solution must be adaptable to fit the individual needs of target groups over time, The findings point towards a centralized solution combined with central distribution hubs and some for of e-platform. Before buyers and producers become connected and orders are placed on this platform, awareness and demand for local food must also be in place. The survey highlighted the need for a clear marketing strategy, which is orientated towards storytelling and creates a well-defined brand, and which is consistent and pushes the benefits of local food. In the future challenges theme, many target group members mentioned the lack of consumer awareness of local foods and the potential of governmental support in promoting this area. Communications and marketing are necessary for a sustainable and viable business platform to flourish. The most critical key topics to be covered in business model are: communications, handling orders, time and efficiency understood through logistics, regulations, consistent supply, appropriate transportation, event marketing and linking B2B and B2C issues.

The project "Baltic Sea Food" involves 14 organisations from 10 Baltic Sea countries. The “Baltic Sea Food” project is partially financed by the INTERREG Baltic Sea Programme 2014-2020.

The join survey report can be found here: