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Almonds Added to Section 32, Commodity Procurement Program

8/26/2020

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The US. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of domestically produced and processed commodity food products through a competitive process among approved vendors. USDA AMS then distributes said food products to American schools, food banks, families, and other qualified individuals through USDA’s nutrition assistance programs and international food aid programs.

Each year USDA, AMS purchases over 300 different products and spends over $3 billion as part of this program. Recently, the Almond Alliance of California led efforts to have California almonds included in the Section 32 food purchase program.

To participate in this program one must become an approved vendor, and there are several steps one should follow to complete this process. If you are interested in participating in this program, the Almond Board of California strongly urges you begin the process now to obtain “New Vendor” status so that you can be prepared to submit a bid to USDA AMS once the solicitation has been announced. The date for the announcement is unknown, but it will likely be released in the next 4-6 weeks. Once announced, there is just a two-week window to submit bids. USDA AMS will review and select successful bidders within two weeks, as well. 

USDA has also released the Pre-Solicitation Announcement which will be for roasted and whole natural almonds in two-pound packages. The announcement can be found
here and information on how to become a USDA Food Vendor can be found here at the USDA AMS website. More almond-specific information about the program, examples of required forms, and more may also be found at the Almond Board website.