Aggregation & Distribution Connecting the Dots: Strategies for Aligning Production, Processing, Distribution, and Market Outlets for Vermont’s Food System
Appendix C: Connecting the Dots focuses on the distribution chain that links farm production, processing, and market outlets and provides strategies for aligning these elements of Vermont’s food system more closely. Distribution is defined as the process of delivering food from the primary producer to end consumers, whether they are found at supermarkets, restaurants, schools, farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) farms, or convenience or general stores. Distribution requires organizing transportation and logistics in an economically efficient manner to deliver a marketable mix of products to meet consumer demand. At times, it also requires short-term storage, en route to store shelves.
The Retail Collection includes resources developed or used by the Independent Grocers Task Force to complement its statewide in-store retail trainings, including the Take 5 video series and the Small Bites newsletter archive along with written resources designed to help retailers more effectively source and merchandise local food. Video episode topics include promotions, purchasing, merchandising, in-store displays, signage, sampling, and procurement. The written resources cover purchasing, merchandising, operations, financials, and staffing. Farmers and specialty food producers interested in learning more about best practices in retail merchandising may also find value in the video series.
"Exploring the Next Frontier: Increasing Local Food Sales at Vermont's Independent Retailers" is a report published by Farm to Plate's Supply and Demand Task Force in order to help grow the independent grocer market in ways that work for retailers, farmers, food producers, and distributors. The report provides an understanding of the kinds of products independent grocery stores currently sell and what real and perceived barriers exist to selling more or different products at independent grocery stores.
The goals of this study were to collect data on the distribution and storage of food in the NCIC NH region: Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties; to assess and identify opportunities to improve efficiency of local food movement; and to increase access to market for local producers.