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Distribution: The Missing Link Jill Clark, Jeff Sharp and Shoshanah Inwood Ohio Local Foods Roundtable November 12, 2009 Reynoldsburg, Ohio Funded by 2009 ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant Why study fruit and vegetable distribution to retail outlets in Ohio? Distributor Retail

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distribution the missing link jill clark jeff sharp and shoshanah inwood

Distribution: The Missing LinkJill Clark, Jeff Sharp and Shoshanah Inwood

Ohio Local Foods Roundtable

November 12, 2009

Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Funded by 2009 ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant

distribution challenges for small and medium farms
Distribution Challenges for Small and Medium Farms

Difficult to break into larger grocery stores, chain

restaurants and institutions due to their:

  • procurement systems
  • price point
  • volume requirements
  • need for year round supply

A general lack of infrastructure to support small and

medium farm products through:

  • aggregation
  • processing and
  • distribution
what are distributors types
What are distributors? (types)

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

what services do distributors provide
What services do distributors provide?

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

relationships strategies between supplier grower and distributor
Relationships/Strategies betweenSupplier/Grower and Distributor

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

what do we currently know the farmers perspective
What Do We Currently Know? The Farmers Perspective

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

what do we currently know the wholesalers perspective
What Do We Currently Know? The Wholesalers Perspective

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

what do we currently know the retailers perspective
What Do We Currently Know? The Retailers Perspective

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

examples of innovative distribution models
Examples of Innovative Distribution Models
  • Good Natured Family Farms, MS and KS
  • Red Tomato, MA
  • Farmers Market Hub, Los Angeles, CA
  • La Montanita Co-op, NM
scaling up connections between regional ohio specialty crop producers and local retail markets
Scaling-up Connections between Regional Ohio Specialty Crop Producers and Local Retail Markets:
  • Schedule and conduct background interviews with 7 Ohio retailers
  • Design and Execute a total population survey to all distributors in Ohio (an estimated 1,100)
  • Provide meaningful outputs for
    • Ohio specialty crop farmers
    • Local distributors
    • State-level decision makers
traditional fruit and veggie marketing channels
Traditional Fruit and Veggie Marketing Channels

Exports

Direct

Markets

Customers

General line

Grocery Wholesalers

Growers

&

Grower-Shippers

Retail

Specialty

Produce Wholesalers

Foodservice

Establishments

General line

Institutional Wholesalers

Imports

Brokers

small co op local statewide
Small Co-opLocal = statewide

CA & out-of-state organic growers

Mid-size distributor

Large for produce

CA & out-of-state organic growers

Mid-size distributor

Large for produce

local

growers

Auction

Small Co-op

Private Individual

local

growers

Very small Distributor

local

growers

Farmers

Market

local

growers

mid size independent local statewide
Mid-size Independent Local = statewide

CA & out-of-state organic growers

Mid-size distributor

Large for produce

CA & out-of-state organic growers

Broker

Small produce distributor

Mid-size

Independent

local

growers

local

growers

Farmers

Market

local

growers

mid size chain local statewide
Mid-size Chain Local = Statewide

local

growers

Store

Mid-size distributor

Large for produce

local

growers

CA & out-of-state grower-shippers

Store

Corporate

Warehouse

local

growers

Store

Auction

local

growers

Local Farm Co-op

Store

local

growers

large natural food chain local 4 hour drive
Large Natural Food ChainLocal = 4-hour drive

Store

local

growers

Store

Mid-size distributor

Large for produce

local

growers

Ohio Store

relationship

local

growers

Store

Corporate

Warehouse

Out-of-state

CA & out-of-state grower-shippers

Store

large chain some franchise local statewide neighboring state
Large Chain (some franchise) Local = statewide + neighboring state

Independently-Owned Store

local

growers

Store

Distributors

Out-of-state growers

Store

Centralized

Corporate

Warehouse

local

growers

Store

CA & out-of-state grower-shippers

Store

large vertically integrated chain local
Large Vertically-Integrated Chain Local = ??

Store

local

growers

Different

Store Name

Out-of state growers

Regional Corporate

Warehouse

An Ohio Store

Store

CA & out-of-state grower-shippers

Store

opportunity
Opportunity?

Small and medium

size farms

Sm & mid size

distributor

Grower-shipper

preliminary survey question topics
Preliminary Survey Question Topics*
  • Types of products distributed
  • Product sourcing
  • Market Cues
  • Service area
  • Trip logistics
  • Food safety requirements
  • Third party certifications
  • Product point of entry
  • Marketing strategies
  • Pricing (margins of profit)
  • Turn around time from delivery at

warehouse to delivery at retailer

  • Services provided to suppliers (shipping, warehousing, transportation, packaging)
  • Sourcing geography, with specific focus on Ohio
  • How have past marketing campaigns affected your business and the products you carry e.g. Buy Local Campaigns, OH Proud
  • Processing facility and capability
    • Washing; Cutting; Bagging;  Value Adding
  • Volumes currently going through warehouse
  • Which customers are you serving?
    • Income
    • Ethnicity
    • Scale
    • Locale/Geography

*Please provide feedback!

next steps
Next Steps
  • What is the role of our research?
    • Are we asking the right questions?
  • What is the role of local food policy councils?
    • And the state food policy council?
  • What are other “missing links?”
thank you

Thank you.

http://cffpi.osu.edu/distribution.htm