USDA Commodity Purchase Program for Raisin Processors/Packers

Updated 1/23/2014

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:

 

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: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5102292

 

b.  AMS Master Solicitation for Commodity Procurements document

     go to:  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5103328

 

c.  Vendor Qualification Requirements document

      go to:  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5076259

 

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

  • After reviewing the requirements in Section A (above),
  • go to: www.ams.usda.gov/commoditypurchasing
  • 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 www.sam.gov
  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 www.ams.usda.gov/isaap 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 www.ams.usda.gov/commoditypurchasing.

 

 

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

 

4. Websites of interest:

www.ams.usda.gov/commoditypurchasing  – all required reading documents can be found here

http://www.commodityfoods.org

http://www.schoolnutrition.org/

 

5. Key  Contacts at USDA:

  • New Vendors Registration:

Dianna Price, 202-720-4237, Dianna.Price@ams.usda.gov

  • Marketing Specialist for Dried Fruit:

Megan Busa, 202-720-4153, Megan.Busa@as.usda.gov