Q1: Where are the specs outlined for each material code?
A1: Specs are located on the Commodity Procurement webpage under each supplement, view the pork specs.
Q2: What is the timeline once the bids are put out? Is it generally two weeks?
A2: Traditionally we give approximately two weeks from publishing to bids due, but may vary.
Q3: When will you be releasing specific products?
A3: Early October
Q4: If the solicitation goes out in October, when will be the first ship date?
A4: Looking at latter part of December for shipment dates
Q5: Based on first solicitation listed and based on what you hear back from participants about price, will that have an impact on the following solicitations?
A5: Pre-solicitation notice is our intent, but we might not purchase each in every phase. Phase 1 is more fixed, but we are open to feedback on the following phases. With regard to the subsequent waves of purchases, there has been a lot of industry outreach to explore commercially available items that could make the shortlist for future purchases, but we would love to hear more about what is commercially out there, and competitively out there.
Q6: What is timeline to receive feedback on additional products?
A6: Any time
Q7: Are there any prequalifying samples that go along with the proposals? Do you qualify products?
A7: We don’t want sample submissions to be a bottleneck for would-be contractors, that being said we would want to see a sample if it’s a brand-new product that you’ve never produced for AMS but from a technical standpoint we would never want to hold you up from being able to bid. If we did find out there’s an issue with a product, we will want to work with you on a case by case basis to make sure recipients are receiving what is expected.
Q8: Are you saying we don’t need a current technical proposal in order to bid on these?
A8: Technical proposals would be business as usual for what is required. For new item (pork loin roast) if there’s a requirement for a production plan we could use a more streamlined approach in terms of the document that could be submitted. Technical proposal for other items is required.
Q9: What is the technical proposal item?
A9: Varies; Supplement 304, 404, 704, 302, 303. For specific details pertaining to commodity specifications related to trade mitigation please contact Darin Doerscher 563-847-1550 or Steve Whisenant 806-359-4130.
Q10: If we don’t have an approved technical proposal, how quickly can we get that through the system?
A10: We will work through it as diligently as possible. We usually require 10 business days to go through it, but we understand that there are special circumstances that require faster turnaround. Make sure to read through the supplement and put your best foot forward. Just because you submit it doesn’t mean it’ll get approved first time around.
Q11: Do USDA/AMS products require labeling on the inner package (i.e. does a company need expiration number and additional markings listed in the specification)? Does the USDA shield need to be on the inner package or outer package?
A11: All products are to be labeled in accordance with the published specifications and the USDA shield needs to be only on the shipping container.
Q12: Which supplement does the patty material fall under?
A12: Supplement 404, cooked pork product; The product will be identical to material code 100145, which is a 2.7 oz patty with soy. Check spec for material code 100145, but use the requirements under this new product listing for a 2 lb package. This will appear as Tendering text in the solicitation. We created this new code to help food bank staff place orders based on the internal pack size and number of packages per case. The smaller pack size facilitates distribution to families through food banks.
Q13: Given the fact that we now have the pre-solicitation, for companies who are not currently approved, should they go ahead and submit paperwork to get approved instead of waiting for bidding time?
A13: Yes, go ahead and get pre-registered even if you think you have interest in competing. The process takes some time, so go ahead and get started now
Reminder: in the body of each supplement, there are guidelines for writing technical proposals as well as individual requirements for each item; this is a good resource to see how the technical proposals should be written
Q14: Are you surveying the states to get amounts that you’re purchasing? How did you come up with these numbers?
A14: We are working with FNS to discuss with recipient communities to get feedback on what/how much to purchase
Q15: Is there any indication if the volume will be broken up between the different phases?
A15: We are leaving that up to FNS. There can not be any guarantee of it, but it may happen naturally so as not to overwhelm the recipients with product
Q16: Have you come up with the material code for the pork taco?
A16: Code will be 111040
Q17: For pork patty cooked, is that breaded or charred?
A17: It’s not breaded, just fully cooked patty with soy. Doesn’t need to be charbroiled; look under Supplement 404 to see specs for cooked pork products – 100145 pork patty has the item description. The 2lb product will not require CN labeling or formulation statement.
Questions Received via Email
Q18. What will AMS do for oversight of the pork procurement items under the Trade Mitigation Procurement?
A18. The AMS Master Solicitation requires that all production facilities including freezers or warehouses are reviewed and approved for a Food Defense program.
Q19. Are there other oversight requirements that AMS will utilize?
A19. Yes, AMS will conduct a pre-award audit of production facilities to ensure that the production facilities are capable of producing the applicable products.
Q20. What will occur after a company is approved and awarded a contract from the bidding process.
A20. AMS will conduct post award audits of the products awarded as directed by the contracting officer. Usually the contracting officer requires a monthly audit of the production processes and shipping of products to ensure that the contract is being fulfilled.