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Procurement of Local Meat/Poultry/Seafood

In 2014, USDA Farm to School team compiled the best practices of local and/or production practice specific meat solicitations used in the National School Lunch Program. They vary from formal to informal and from focusing on local meats to a specific style of meat production such as organic or grass-fed as listed under "Documents" section at the bottom of the page. Basic explanations of the olicitations are below, as provided by USDA.


Viroqua, WI:

This SFA sends out the informal request for pricing along with a cover letter for 3 local items beef, chicken and pork. Since this is informal procurement, the SFA sends the cover letter and request for pricing to local sources, hence the cover letter attached is already addressed to a local meat provider.

Kalispell Public, MT:

This SFA sends out a product specification form and a general procurement bid form. I have attached a blank template form of both those documents. Again, this is an informal procurement so the SFA sends the documents to 3 local sources only.

Fayetteville, AR:

This SFA sends out a large informal bid packet at the beginning of the year, covering many different products they are seeking bids on. They include farm to school language in the opening paragraph of the informal bid packet. Beef can be found as an item to be bid upon on page 6 of the packet. This is a good example of the use of geographic preference, with a tie breaker going to the vendor with experiential learning opportunities for students! Again, since this is an informal procurement, the SFA sends the documents to 3 local sources only.

Portland Public Schools, OR:

Portland Public Schools in Oregon also uses an informal procurement method when buying local chicken, local beef and some local fish. They have a wonderful excel file that is used in documenting quotes. Again, since this is an informal procurement, the SFA sends the documents to 3 local sources only. The document does not specifically mention local.



San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) grass-fed beef formal solicitation:

The SDUSD solicitation is not targeting local meat but rather a production style, i.e. grass-fed. Focusing a solicitation on a production practice is another method for a solicitation to source/support local while not overtly targeting local foods. It is included just as an example and another tool for sourcing healthy and possibly local school foods. It should be noted that no bids were received for this solicitation. There is no known reason for why that is. One proposed reason may be that the biological controls and other technical requirements of this solicitation are overly restrictive. A second proposed reason may be the volumes of meat requested, these volumes may be too high for one producer to meet as SDUSD is a very large school district.

Omaha Chicken “RFP”:

This solicitation is in fact a bid not an RFP as price is the only factor in selecting the winning vendor.  Besides this one discrepancy this is a great formal bid. Omaha uses the geographic preference to target local chicken products.



Any informal solicitation listed here could be used for local fish or local seafood products, though there is not yet an example specifically for such products. If you have or know of SFAs with seafood or fish solicitations, please let us know.

Chris Iberle, WSDA


Last Updated: 11/20/2018