USDA Commodity Purchase Program for Raisin Processors/Packers

Updated 4/8/16

To:   California Raisin Packers and Processors regarding the USDA Commodity Purchase Program

USDA spends $2 billion per year on commodity purchases for the National School Lunch Program, food banks/pantries, etc., including $530 million for fruits and vegetables, which represents an ongoing sales opportunity for California Raisins.

To become a Qualified Vendor for this program, follow these instructions: 

Vendor Registration:  All USDA commodity purchases are conducted with solicitations.  This includes bonus buys as well as year-round commodity purchases for schools and food banks.  All packers must complete AMS’s registration process to become a qualified vendor before they can bid on the solicitations.   Helpful information for vendor qualification instructions, including USDA contacts is provided below for RAC packers:


USDA Qualifications and Requirements to become a USDA Vendor


1.  To be fully informed of all requirements before starting the New Vendor Application process, please read documents a-c:

a.  Commodity Specifications for Dried Fruit document, as amended

go to:


b.  AMS Master Solicitation for Commodity Procurements document

     go to:


c.  Vendor Qualification Requirements document

      go to:


2. For instructions on how to become a qualified vendor*,

  • After reviewing the requirements in Section A (above),
  • go to:
  • Scroll down to: Vendor Selling Kit  and Click on: Vendor Qualification RequirementsIn summary (of the 6 pages of instructions), the following tasks must be completed:
  1. Register with System for Award Management (SAM) at
  2. Submit a WBSCM** Vendor Registration Form.
  3. Submit a Vendor Capabilities letter.
  4. Submit 3 letters of reference.
  5. Submit a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Credit Advisory Report.
  6. Plant facility inspection by USDA inspector.*Becoming a qualified vendor is required before bidding solicitations.**WBSCM is USDA’s AMS website through which all bids, awards, invoicing and payments are made.
  • Food Defense Requirements – all required contractors and subcontractors must have a documented and operational food defense plan that provides for the security of a plant’s production processes and includes the storage and transportation of pre-production raw materials and other ingredients and post-production finished products.  Contacts for each commodity are found on the AMS website at under “Contact Us.”
  • Pre-Award Plant Inspection Requirements- specific pre-award plant survey/assessment requirements are referenced in the Supplement and/or Commodity Specification(s) applicable to the commodities the prospective vendor is interested in supplying.  These documents can be found on the Commodity Purchasing website at



3. To subscribe to AMS CP NEWS (and receive notices, RFPs, bonus buys, etc.),


4. Websites of interest:  – all required reading documents can be found here


5. Key  Contacts at USDA:

  • New Vendors Registration:

Dianna Price, 202-720-4237,

  • Marketing Specialist for Dried Fruit:

Christina Sample, 202-720-4153,