As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, AMS and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) are conducting a pilot project in up to eight States to provide more purchasing flexibility and options for unprocessed fruits and vegetables, including minimally processed products such as sliced apples, baby carrots, and shredded lettuce. The Pilot project allows participating states to (1) use multiple suppliers and products established and qualified by the Secretary and (2) designate a geographic preference, if desired.
The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with entitlement funding, while using pre-existing commercial distribution channels and school relationships with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors. The pilot supports the use of locally-grown foods in school meal programs using entitlement funds.
How to Become an Eligible Vendor
Companies interested in being placed on the Pilot Project Eligible Vendor List should review the eligibility requirements before contacting AMS Commodity Procurement Staff. Please note that vendor eligibility for participation in this pilot project does not constitute approval to participate in other AMS’ commodity purchase programs (AMS solicitations and contract awards).
All application forms and supporting documentation shall be submitted electronically to FVPilotProject@ams.usda.gov.
For questions or assistance regarding your pilot application please contact Mr. Al Hoover 202-720-0295
In addition to the application forms, a WBSCM Vendor Registration Form must be submitted to FVPilotProject@ams.usda.gov as well. All eligible vendors shall also be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), which requires a DUNS number. You can reach the SAM Help Desk at 1-866-606-8220
For Technical Assistance: Procurement Technical Assistance Center https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ogc/resources/362381
Additional Information for New Vendors:
- View the Vendor Eligibility Flyer (pdf)
- GroupGAP Food Safety Program
- August 21, 2014: AMS Conference call for interested vendors transcript (pdf)
How to Become a Participating School
To learn more about the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables and how your school or school food authority can get involved, please contact your State Agency Contacts (pdf).
Current Participating Vendors
Where to go from here:
Once you have completed your WBSCM Registration Form and registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), you are now a qualified vendor for the Pilot Program, so where do you go from here?
1. Talk to the State Agency Contacts (pdf) and get contacts of schools you can work with, provide them with your information and the commodities you offer.
2. Create a contact with those schools.
Stay up to date on all the latest USDA food purchases by signing up for our listserve.
In order to receive payment of delivered unprocessed fruits and vegetables, the eligible vendor must fill out and submit the Vendor/SDA Reporting Template (xls) to FVPilotInvoice@ams.usda.gov. View the Vendor Invoice Template Instructions (doc)
Vendors with eligible status may be subject to an audit by USDA, AMS personnel to confirm all above requirements are in place. Please be aware when your GAP/GHP certificate expires as this will cause payment problems. For questions regarding other requirements, invoicing, or general information please contact Ms. Camillia Freeland-Taylor @ 202-720-3052, Camillia.Freeland-Taylor@ams.usda.gov
Current Participating Schools
Participating States & SFAs
- Participating SFAs for School Year 2016-2017 (pdf) – This document lists, by State, the SFAs participating in the pilot project for School Year 2016-2017. Please note: this list is subject to change throughout the pilot and will be updated accordingly.
- USDA Selects States for Participation in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables
- August 13, 2015: AMS Vendor Eligibility Requirements Recording and Q&A Session (pdf)
- March 16, 2015: FNS Webinar III on vendor requirements
- Current Companies with USDA GAP&GHP
- AMS Notice to the Trade: Pilot Project for the Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables- Corrected (pdf)
- Information Sheet - Pilot Project for the Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables (pdf)
- USDA, AMS, FV: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Program
- USDA, AMS, FV Plant Systems Audits
- Global Food Safety Initiative
- FDA Food Defense Resources
- SAM (System for Award Management)
To receive email updates from AMS, subscribe to AMS CP News and select “Unprocessed FV Pilot Project.”
For information about State and School Food Authority participation in the pilot project, visit the FNS website.