Case: ICA, Sweden

ICA - Torget
Source: Svenska Livsmedel

UPSTREAM: Local and Seasonal Sourcing Initiatives

Who: ICA

Country: Sweden

Objective: To help local suppliers provide their produce to nearby ICA stores. Together with the Federation of Swedish Farmers, the goal of ICA is that 75% of all the meat sold in Swedish ICA stores should come from Swedish producers by 2012. Another goal is to give ICA’s customers more to choose from in terms of local dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

Description of initiative: More and more consumers are asking for locally produced food – for products with “soul”. To meet this demand, ICA offers a system ”Torget” as a marketplace to its local suppliers, which is a part of a project that aims to increase locally produced products in ICA shop “Smak på lokalt”.

Around the country there are many small local farmers and producers who have difficulties with getting their products to the market. Torget enables local producers to sell their products via one or several ICA stores. The products sold include locally produced delicacies, such as cheese, meat and processed meats, but also vegetables and fruits.

Torget is available for all ICA 1400 stores that with its help can find new local suppliers and exciting locally produced articles. Torget is a marketplace for suppliers and ICA stores - the customer. It comprises Exder Marketplace - a service for the stores to order goods, and Exder Market, a service for suppliers to market and sell their goods.

Through Torget each ICA store agrees with the supplier on conditions for price and delivery. ICA stores record orders on Torget and can constantly monitor the flow with confirmation, delivery and invoice. The stores get an effective routine with electronic invoices and simple monitoring of purchases and suppliers delivery. Torget enables suppliers to find nearby ICA stores and deliver to a hub, thereby reducing environmental impacts from transportation and associated costs.

Effect of initiative: In addition to being an effective marketing channel Torget offers an effective sales support for receiving orders, confirming and sending electronic invoices. It is a good way for small suppliers to “grow into” big ICA. If it turns out that the demand for certain goods is sufficiently large, ICA includes them in its normal range.

Together with Expert System, ICA has also an ongoing pilot project that should ensure that smaller suppliers can use a new logistics system called “Microflödet” in a cost-effective and climate smart way. With Microflödet, ICA suppliers just need to drive their products to the nearest transportation hub (see picture below), instead of driving to each individual store. In this way the costs and environmental impacts are kept low.

The key for the success of the initiatives to support local farmers is the cooperation with various organizations. In Sweden, ICA partners with the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), the Rural Economy
and Agricultural Societies and LivsTek.

ICA was also active in the development of a quality standard for small-scale food production in Sweden.

Time period: 2007-current

Future work: Increase the number of local suppliers to ICA stores and improve logistical solutions for food delivery

More information

Contact: Ethel Lindroth and Peo Werne, project managers at ICA.
or 08-561 500 00

Links:
Expert Systems, ICA-Torget (in Swedish)

GS1 Sweden made the report "Hela landet blir nabart for lokala leverantorer". Not available now.