Karen Karp and Partners (KK&P) out of New York was selected by the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) for a $95,000 contract to conduct research of New England’s distribution network capacity for value-added dairy products. This project will address New England’s current distribution system, capacity, and geographic considerations to determine meaningful opportunities for dairy processors to get their products to further and more robust markets along the eastern seaboard.
The project will take place in two phases:
Phase One – Discovery
Gaining a variety of perspectives and opinions through members of the New England distribution supply chain through:
- Discussion of efficiencies/inefficiencies within the existing supply chain
- Qualitative interviews with individuals who work in positions and businesses that are representative of the region and supply chain.
- Recognition of gaps and supply chain pressure points that prevent further distribution of regional dairy products to higher value markets.
- Address complexities of geography, inefficient network of roads, lack of drivers, including possible opportunities to overcome these challenges.
- Identify if processor knowledge, skills, and abilities to act within the distribution system on behalf of their business is an area for development.
Phase Two – Focused Research and Recommendations
This will be contingent on the results of Phase One, but at a minimum, will provide recommendations on the following:
- Identification of short-term and long-term steps that can be taken to relieve identified challenges.
- Opportunities for coordination between New England states.
- Opportunities for transportation coordination and innovation between existing supply chain partners.
- Opportunities for better producer to producer coordination to efficiently reach more robust markets while promoting manageable growth.
- Opportunities to maximize existing distribution networks, with a focus on accessibility, efficiency, and cost effectiveness for a variety of value-added operations.
Results of this work, including a presentation and report, will be made available through NE-DBIC in Spring 2022.
For more information about this project, contact Laura.Ginsburg@vermont.gov.