New retail opportunities for small scale food producers in the Corona crisis

09 April 2020 - Published by Hein Braaksma
Many small-scale producers have been adversely affected by the progress of the Corona virus. Especially producers who have the restaurant and tourism industry as their most important customer group. The fact that many hotels, restaurants, cafes and others in the tourism industry are having a very tough time right now is affecting those who rely on their order intake by this customer group.

As a response the major food stores in Sweden (Coop, ICA, Bergendahls, Axfood and Lidl) have expressed their will to help the small local producers. This by creating more space for local food on the store shelves. Also by giving local food more publicity in the media. 

The regional food agency in West Sweden – Locally produced in West – is now redirecting their services within REFRAME and are focusing on helping the local food producers to seize this opportunity, and quickly reach out with their products to the major food stores. This is done by acting as an intermediary that connects buyers and sellers. 

For starters, they made a quick inventory among the producers, using a Google form where they asked the following questions:
What are your products?
How much can you sell?
Possible distribution area?
Which certificates do you have?
Quantity of products?
Which grocer do you want to do business with?

The answers from more than 50 producers have been compiled and offers from companies, that normally deliver to restaurants, have been presented to the grocery stores. The producers have also received help to register their products in the grocery stores order portals, and to get barcodes if needed.

Help has also been given to restaurants that use local products, to be able to sell their food in grocery stores, as a complement to their normal sales.

In addition to this Locally Produced in West also helps the producers in the region to read and understand the crisis packages presented by the Swedish government, thus helping producers to lower their costs.