October 12, 2004, as reported
by just-food.com: The UK has launched a new product distribution
primer and how-to guide aims to help regional food and drink products
reach the mainstream marketplace. The guide, a joint project of
grocer industry think tank IGD and Food from Britain, hopes to bring
more regional products into local stores by outlining for small
distributors innovative and cost effective new routes to market.
The guide was produced in response to producer feedback that distribution
continues to be one of their key barriers to growth. It comprises
a step-by-step guide to help producers understand the distribution
options available to them; whether they want to service the local
community with their own van, or link up with a major manufacturer
to expand their distribution nationally.
The guide explains how mainstream supermarket and foodservice distribution
systems work, gives advice about the various primary distribution
methods available to producers, and the pros and cons of each. It
outlines the opportunities for small producers to work with larger
manufacturers and logistics companies to distribute product and
considers the various levels of service offered.
"In the UK we have many excellent regional food and drink
products which are not enjoying their full potential because the
producers don’t have the know-how or resources to distribute
them most efficiently or to a wider market,” said IGD chief
executive Joanne Denney-Finch.
“The grocery distribution business is vast and can be very
complex, however there are distribution opportunities for local
food producers which can help reduce distribution costs in their
existing markets and give access to new markets. We hope by sharing
knowledge of how the distribution business works and by highlighting
some excellent initiatives that are working, we can give small producers
the know-how and confidence to succeed on a larger scale,"