A recent press release from the USDA touted that “a new year brings new opportunities for fruit and vegetable producers, distributors, and farmers within the AMS Commodity Procurement Program (CPP).”
It said, “Whether your company is already a qualified vendor and actively bidding or you are unsure if CPP and the world of government contracting would be the right fit for your company, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:
- Small Business Set-Asides: CPP strives to support American agriculture and small businesses by establishing small business set-asides for its acquisitions. When at least two small businesses have capacity to provide products, a portion of a contract is made exclusive or “set aside” for small businesses. A contract may be a 100% small business set aside or a partial set aside, depending on the capacity of the vendors. CPP also has small business set asides for socioeconomic categories such as Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Businesses (HUBZones), and Woman Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs).
- Procurement Schedule: An often overlooked but useful tool is our “AMS CPP Procurement Schedule.” The AMS CPP Procurement Schedule lists the products, pack sizes, and contracting specialist for the product that CPP intends to purchase for the calendar year along with an estimated timeframe for when bids will be announced, contracts are awarded, and deliveries are to be made on those contracts. Afraid you missed a bid? Not sure if CPP purchases your product? Check the AMS CPP Procurement Schedule.
- Quarterly Webinars: As mentioned in a previous article, CPP will be hosting quarterly webinars. The first webinar will be focused on lessons learned in becoming an approved USDA food vendor. The webinar will be Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Please register for the webinar here.
- Industry Meetings: In addition to our quarterly webinars, CPP will be hosting a virtual industry meeting with our contractors and interested suppliers to discuss the commodity purchase programs, tentatively scheduled for March 1-3 with an invitation to follow to register. Due to COVID-19, this annual meeting had been cancelled over the past few years. CPP is excited to resurrect their industry meeting virtually to share new information and continue to collaborate with suppliers and stakeholders to improve CPP.