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

October 2017 -
March 2021

1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation

Baltic Sea Food

Local food producers still rely mostly on direct contacts to consumers as they often have difficulties in reaching catering, food processing and retail sectors that tend to rely on large food supply chains. The project aims to establish a business to business distribution model that supports local food networks in rural areas of ten countries in the Baltic Sea region and to ensure smooth and short supply chains, opportunities for growth, and improved business performance.


Local food producers need a better distribution solution for selling their product

Local food producers and farmers in rural areas of the Baltic Sea region are mainly small family businesses, who prefer to organise their sales through face-to-face contact and by phone. They are often not able to sell their products to big wholesale companies or supermarket chains because of limited production volumes and higher price compared with large producers. Therefore, their access to catering, food processing and retail sector is rather limited. The market area of local food producers is usually their own home region. However, in many regions they have established local food networks to cooperate for marketing and information exchange.

Why don´t restaurants and caterers buy produce from local farmers?

The initial analysis of current situation in Baltic Sea countries shows that local farmers and food producers are used to selling their products to end consumers. At the same time, it is more convenient for catering businesses to buy food products from one distribution company instead of having contacts with several farmers and producers.

Baltic Sea Food creates a solution for getting the local products to shops and restaurants

Baltic Sea Food designs a business model for local food distribution applicable to local food networks, which are established by local food producers and providers in the Baltic Sea rural areas. In other words, a cost-efficient distribution solution ensures delivering food products from farms to local restaurants, rural accommodations, shops and small industries. The Baltic Sea Food project includes 15 partners from 10 countries responsible for the development and promotion of local food and culinary sector at national or regional level.

Highlights by mid-term:

With the partners’ input from ten countries, the project mapped the existing situation in local food distribution in the Baltic Sea region. A comprehensive analysis is complemented by conclusions and suggestions for improvements.

The project has created the first version of the business model for business-to-business (B2B) distribution of local food. It explains different aspects of local food distribution to be considered when planning or updating the distribution system. Additionally, more than 300 SMEs, food networks, NGOs and other stakeholders have received information about new business opportunities in the context of the food distribution model. The partners involved ca. 250 SMEs mainly from rural areas (local food producers and farmers, restaurants, cafes, farm shops, tourism farms etc.) in capacity building events. During workshops and practical seminars the development of platforms to improve food distribution has been driven together with relevant stakeholders from the field.


€ 2.43
€ 1.62
Eni + Russia
€ 0.09
€ 0.14



Project manager

Gravitas Consult OÜ

Silja Lehtpuu

3 725 157 724

Legal representative

Ministry of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia

Illar Lemetti

+372 6256103

Financial manager

Gravitas Consult OÜ

Silja Lehtpuu

3 725 157 724

Communication manager

The Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce

Eneken Viks

+372 6009349