Trade Mitigation – Citrus Purchases Call Q&A – 9/19/18

Note: The information provided below is subject to change. 

Q1. Do prospective contractors have to bid on the full volume offered in the solicitation?

A1. No.  You may bid on as much or as little of the total volume as you would like.  We typically make multiple awards on our solicitations.

Q2.  What quantities are solicited? How big is a truckload?

A2.  We solicit in full truckload quantities, meaning a full commercial truckload weighting approximately 40,000 lbs.  Some truckloads include what we call “split loads,” meaning it is a full commercial truckload that includes delivery to multiple stops.  There are typically no more than three stops on a split load.  Offerors will be required to bid on all stops on the split load. 

Q3. If we are qualified as a vendor under the Unprocessed Pilot Program, are we already qualified?

A3. No, you would have to register and become approved as a new vendor in order to participate.

Q4. In order to participate in the Trade Mitigation program, must we go through the new Vendor process? 

A4. Unless you are already a current AMS Commodity Procurement vendor, you must go through the new vendor registration process to participate in Trade Mitigation programs.  

Q5.  Should a 3rd party, for example my growers/suppliers, submit my audit paperwork for the desk audit?

A5.  Paperwork for the desk audit should be submitted by the USDA vendor or prime contractor. View the Trade Mitigation Program Food Safety Requirements (pdf)

Q6. How long does it take to become an approved vendor after the forms are completed and submitted?

A6. It takes approximately 5 business days.  It is recommended to submit the paperwork as early as possible.  The registration process should also be completed as early as possible, because USDA has no control over that system.

Q7.  What is the average anticipated cost of a desk audit?

A7.  This will depend upon multiple factors including the amount of documentation, the number of growers, handlers, packers, etc..  

Q8.  For California oranges, October date is a little premature, we won’t have idea for size volume, can we request that date be pushed back to November or December?

A8. We will take this into consideration.

Q9.  Once the solicitations are issued, how much time will vendors be given to submit their bids?

A9. Approximately two weeks will be provided to vendors submit bids.  

Q10.  Is any preference given to small or economically disadvantaged businesses?

A10.  There will be no set-asides for Trade Mitigation purchases.

Q11.  When you announce the solicitation, will you go into more detail on size requirements?

A11.  Yes, the solicitations will include additional technical details.

Q12. Will you please repeat the acceptable GFSI alternative audits?

A12.  Please see below -

  • GlobalGAP Integrated Farm Assurance Scheme Version 5
  • GlobalGAP Produce Safety Standard Version 4
  • GlobalGAP Harmonized Produce Safety Standard
  • CanadaGAP Version 6 Options B, C, D and Program Management Manual Version 6
  • SQF Code 7th Edition Level 2
  • Primus GFS Standard v 2.1 or 3

Q13.  Should audit documentation for desk audits (approval letter) be submitted with the bids or after the fact?

A13.  Desk audits will have to be approved prior to the bid submission date.  It is recommended that you submit desk audit documentation as early as possible to ensure the audit are completed in time.

Q14.  If we do not receive the approval letter indicating that the desk audit is acceptable, will we be eligible for award?

A14.  The approval letter must be submitted at the time bids are due.

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