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PROCURING LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE. Why Choose Locally Grown  Freshness  Holds longer in storage  Shipping costs may be lower  It can help your community.

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Presentation on theme: "PROCURING LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE. Why Choose Locally Grown  Freshness  Holds longer in storage  Shipping costs may be lower  It can help your community."— Presentation transcript:


2 Why Choose Locally Grown  Freshness  Holds longer in storage  Shipping costs may be lower  It can help your community

3 Geographic Preferences USDA has in the past few years made it permissible to apply geographic preferences to locally grown, minimally processed produce. However they do still require you to go through a procurement process. You can’t exclude non-local suppliers. You can’t list on your solicitation that you are looking for locally grown products only.

4 Defining Local In order to award geographic preference points, etc., you must first specify your definition of local: within 100 miles, within the state of Mississippi, etc. Do not get overly restrictive in your definition. Another option is that you can specify that products “must be delivered within X days of harvest” to assure local products.

5 Small Purchase Procedures (For purchases under $150,000) School districts may issue a Request for Quotes to local farmers or suppliers. USDA recommends 3 quotes. We require 2.

6 How to Obtain Quotes Quotes must be solicited for a specific period of time. Quoted prices are firm and there can be no escalation You may limit quotes to only local sources or You may quote against a local produce distributor or other non-local sources and offer a geographic preference for local products.

7 Verbal Quotes Verbal quotes are permissible for food items because there is nothing in the federal procurement regs that forbids them. However, to make sure that each vendor is given the same information, a written quote is always preferable. This gives you something in writing, signed by the vendor, verifying his/her quote. Quotes can be solicited and received by mail, by fax, or by email.

8 Applying Geographic Preference Bidder 1Bidder 2 Price$1.97$2.00 Meets geographic preference? No Yes (10 points) Price with preference points $1.97$1.90

9 Please refer to you quote template


11 IFBs or RFPs Because the threshold is now $150,000 before the requirement for these formal solicitations kick in, we will not cover them at this time except for the information following about how to include them in your regular produce bid.

12 Adding Local Products to Produce Distribution Bids There are several ways to do this that are effective and legal. Again in your document you would need to define local: Local Selection of the Month: The Distributor bids delivery fee only – price of product to be approved by administrator prior to delivery. Harvest Basket: Distributor quotes a fee and then chooses, with school approval, a set number of items per year, per semester, per month, etc. Cost of the product is approved prior to the delivery. Include a requirement to purchase local products whenever possible or whenever the price is within ___% of the same products from no local sources to your bid solicitation.

13 Produce Distribution Bid (Continued) Listing locally grown products as an “approved product” on the distribution bid. In this scenario, the administrator would work separately with local growers to choose products. Those items would be included on the produce distribution bid. The produce bidder would bid only a set delivery fee with the specification that the cost will be submitted for final approval prior to delivery.

14 Example of Produce Bid

15 Listing Local as an Approved Brand You can list a local farm (or farmer) as your approved brand in your specification, but you would need to include the term: “Or approved equivalent.” This will meet federal regulations for competition and it will give you a safety valve in case the farmer you chose for some reason can’t deliver the product.

16 Specification for Mississippi Sweet Potato Sticks or approved equivalent

17 Food Safety

18 If you decide to procure locally, you will, of course, want to choose a farmer who uses growing and handling practices that, to the fullest extent possible, ensure a safe supply of produce for your students.

19 Because fresh produce is typically served raw, the risk of food- borne illness is greater than those products that are cooked. Schools serve populations that can be very vulnerable to food- borne illnesses. Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated at many points during the growing, picking, packing and delivery process. E. coli, lysteria, and other pathogens can be introduced to the plants from contaminated soil or water or poor handling of the produce during and after harvest. Good Growing and Handling Practices Are Crucial in Fresh Produce Most food-borne illness outbreaks originate with fresh produce

20 What are USDA FNS’s Requirements For Safety Inspections For Locally Grown Products in the NSLP?

21 None

22 1)Inspection of the farm 2)Inspection of delivery equipment 3) Look at records of soil and water tests 4)Talk to the farmers to make sure they practiced good agriculture and good handling practices throughout the growing, packing and delivery process. How Can I Be Sure Locally Grown Produce is Safe for My Students You may want to develop a relationship with your local farmer and do some of the following:

23 Iowa State University Check List This is a questionnaire developed by Iowa State University that can either be completed on site by administrators or can be included with quote solicitations and accepted when completed and signed by the grower. This instrument asks detailed questions about all facets of good agricultural practices. An administrator may also require copies of current soil and/or water tests (depending on whether the grower uses a municipal water supply) to accompany the completed form. Or…



26 Utilizing Local Produce Distributors Local Produce Distributors deliver to a variety of establishments. For liability purposes they will require appropriate food safety and good handling practices from their suppliers – whether it is a local farm or a large pre-cut facility such as Taylor Farms. It is also something that you can include in your bid specification. Also going through a produce distributor gives you a certain amount of protection from liability in case of an outbreak. The distributor is required by regulations to contact you in case of a recall of products that they carry and conduct trace-back procedures to determine if products sold you are affected by the recall. Farm Fresh

27 Or... GAP/GHP Certification USDA offers GAP/GHP certification which combines questionnaires and on-site audits to ensure that farmers are using Good Agriculture and Good Handling Practices to grow, harvest and handle all foods coming into the cafeteria.




31 Menu Flexibility When utilizing locally grown products, it is advisable to factor in a certain amount of flexibility with menus. Delivery dates must be approximate due to a variety of factors that may affect harvest dates.

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