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Licentiate thesis, 2012

Optimisation and integration in local food distribution

Nordmark, Ingrid


Increased interest is being shown in local, regional and traditional food and confidence in such food is high among consumers. There is also more interest in the transparency of the food supply chain. Therefore places and modes of production and traceability as aspects of food quality have gained more and more importance in the recent decades. This necessitates the development of new knowledge of the specific logistics system to be able to identify successful approaches to improving the local food supply chain. Important questions may arise such as whether local and small-scale food producers can transport their goods more efficiently and how they can improve through cooperation and integration. The aim of this thesis was to study how cooperation, optimisation and integration in the supply chain for local and small-scale food producers can make distribution more efficient and to estimate the environmental impact from the transports. This work analyses, demonstrates and further develops distribution strategies for local and small-scale food producers and distributors, together with their environmental impacts. The work is based on three case studies in Sweden that have distribution systems on different scales. The distribution system in Paper I includes logistics with local food and transport companies in and around Uppsala. In Paper II, a group of small-scale producers in Halland was integrated into a bigger retail chain using an electronic trading system. In Paper III, a distribution system for municipal units in four municipalities in Dalarna was analysed. Data was collected by observations, questionnaires, interviews and from summaries of orders and public procurements. By mapping distribution networks, optimising routes and estimating emissions, possible improvements in the distribution system were ascertained. There is potential for local and small-scale food producers to improve their distribution and reduce their environmental impact. Cooperation, integration and route optimisation are strategies that are suitable for producers to adopt in order to make their transports more efficient.


transport; local food; food producers; supply chain; distribution system; environmental impact; coordination; integration; emissions

Published in

Report / Department of Energy and Tecnology, SLU
2012, number: 046
ISBN: 978-91-576-9102-6
Publisher: Institutionen för energi och teknik, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

Authors' information

Nordmark, Ingrid
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Transport Systems and Logistics
Environmental Sciences

URI (permanent link to this page)