Baltic Sea Food - B2B distribution model supporting local food sector in Baltic Sea region rural areas

Local food producers and farmers in BSR rural areas are mainly small family businesses, who prefer to organize the sales through face-to-face contact and by phone. They 're often not able to sell their products to big wholesale companies or supermarket chains because of limited production volumes and higher price comparing with large producers. Therefore their access to catering, food processing and retail sector is complicated. The market area of local food producers is usually their own home region. The objective of current project is to design a sustainable and transferable business model for B2B distribution applicable for local food nets established by local food producers and prov iders in BSR rural areas. The model enables to establish smooth short supply chains in local and regional level offering opportunities for growth and improved business performance to SME's acting in local food sector in rural areas. The business model is designed using the best available competences and current experiences of local food nets in implementation of B2C and B2B solutions. The B2B distribution model is tested in 12 pilot regions in BSR area in cooperation with local food networks and organizations (SME's/cooperatives/NGO 's/farmers unions etc) responsible for organiz ing delivery and logistics of local food. As the level of technological innovation in local food sector is rather weak, then local food nets and distribution organizations in project area are encouraged to take advantage of ex isting e-platforms facilitating B2B distribution in local food sector. Partners will promote and highlight new business opportunities provided by B2B distribution model to all local food networks in project area.
Project period
Project state
Project area
Project funding
Baltic Sea Region 2014-2020
LAB role
Project focus area
Takes place in project
The main expected result is improved capacity of national and regional organizations from 10 countries to support local food networks from BSR area interested in launching B2B distribution of local food products in business model and process innovation. Baltic Sea Food aim to create a sustainable Business to Business distribution model applicable for local food networks that are established by micro-businesses and SMEs in BSR area. To achieve this, the business model and process innovation approach is mainly used. It enables to establish smooth short supply chains in local level offering opportunities for growth and improved business performance to SME's in rural areas.
1) Wider awareness created among SMEs and local food networks on relevant business model innovation possibilities. In particular, 10-15 food networks will have adapted new B2B distribution model as pilots. Their experience will be disseminated to other local food networks in whole BSR area. It will result in improved capacity of local food networks to implement innovative business models, solutions and processes in their area.
2) Improved capacity of national and regional organizations acting as project partners to support local food networks in business model and process innovation. It will be achieved through joint development of B2B distribution model for local food sector in regional or local level supported by relevant e-platform. The project will therefore result in a much higher understanding of such processes and knowledge on how to nurture business model and process innovation in local food sector in the future.
3) New skills and knowledge given to micro-businesses and SMEs in rural areas (farmers, small food producers, restaurants etc) enabling changes in their current business practices according to the market needs. Improved capacity of farmers and small producers achieved to offer high quality products in expected volumes to their clients through sustainable distribution chain. The competitive advantages of providing local fresh and seasonal food to their customers has been more recognized by catering/tourism businesses and grocery stores.
4) A cross-national network of organizations covering whole BSR area will be created, with strong capacity to support local food sector (food nets, SME's) in innovation uptake through joint development of new ideas and sharing best practices that offer opportunities for sustainable growth. Various business support organizations and local/regional organizations involving local food nets and SME's from the sector (the Baltic Sea Food project partners) have developed more stable cooperation methods across whole BSR region. All partners see that network of business support organizations needs to be created as much could be learned from each other, especially taking into account differences and therefore usefully complementary approaches.
Project managers