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Aggregating Vendors Application

Farms Together: Local Food for a Healthy California

Two types of entities can sell through this program; select the entity that best describes your operation based on the following definitions.

Single Farm Vendors: Single Farm Vendors are applicants who plan to only use product sourced and grown from solely their own farm. Please use this link to apply.

Aggregating Vendors: Aggregating Vendors are applicants who plan to source product from multiple producers and farms. Please use this current application. 


Note: At this time, aggregating vendors with $10 million in annual revenue or greater are not eligible to apply. 

The following questionnaire assesses your organization’s eligibility for participation in Farms Together and your preparedness to implement all aspects of project activity. Please see the Project Summary document for more information about eligibility and project activities.

Following submission, your application will be queued based on upcoming contract availability in your selected region. Network Administrators aim to review within one month but the length may vary. Network Administrators may follow up for more information before making a decision.


Questions can be directed to info@farmstogether.org.

Organizational Information

Aggregating vendors with $10 million in annual revenue or greater are not eligible at this time. Please indicate that the gross (total) revenue for your organization is less than $10 million. 🛈
Demographic information: Does the majority (greatest portion) of your business ownership identify as one or more of the following? For nonprofits: does the majority of your organization's leadership team identify as BIPOC (BIPOC=Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) individuals? *
Please indicate legal organizational category: *
 
Are you based in California? Note that the lead vendor (i.e. food hub, aggregating farmer or single-farm vendor must be based in California) *
 

Payment through this project will take place on a Net 21 schedule, meaning that you will be paid within 21 days of delivering product to a distribution site. Are you able to work within this schedule? *
 
Please select the regions you are able to deliver within. Select as many that apply. *

Food Safety

The purpose of the following section is to clearly establish food safety practices among Vendors, and ensure that food safety protocols are being followed. Vendors participating in Farms Together are not required to have 3rd party food safety certifications; however they are required to meet minimum food safety requirements.
 
The following questions are intended to assess your operation’s food safety readiness and whether your operation meets the program’s minimum food safety requirements. Because every operation is different and knows their food safety risks best, there is not a grading criteria for this section.
 
Instead, each applicant should answer all questions completely and honestly, and CAFF’s food safety team will follow up with applicants to clarify any questions regarding their application. Applicants can also email foodsafety@caff.org for technical support.

Food Safety for Aggregating Vendors

1) All aggregators in California should follow current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) to minimize food safety risks and contamination to food. cGMPs are a voluntary set of practices that a distributor applies to their operation to reduce food safety risks. Some examples are: all food hub workers wash their hands correctly and at the correct frequency, all food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized, and buildings where food is stored should have a pest management plan. Is your operation following current Good Manufacturing Practices? See this resource from CDFA with more details about cGMPs. *
2) What is your organization’s status under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Controls (PC) Rule? Select one below. See this flow chart to figure out your status if you do not know. *
3) A written Food Safety Plan (example templates here) is a document that provides information about an operation’s food safety practices. Does your operation have a current and complete food safety plan that documents your manufacturing, holding, and/or packing practices, including an explanation about how your operation verifies that each of the farms you source from follow Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)? *

4) Does your operation have a traceability plan to be able to determine what farm(s) you source each product from? *
5) Please briefly explain your supplier verification program. In other words, how do you verify that each of the farms you source from follows Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)? Examples include: vendors require farms to submit food safety plans, vendor requires farms to conduct and submit a risk assessment, vendor requires farm to be food safety certified (3rd party food safety audit, e.g. USDA Harmonized GAP), vendor requires farms to follow a food safety certification standard but not be officially certified. *
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6) Does your operation employ any additional food safety systems? Select all that apply: *
7) Has an employee with decision-making authority completed a food safety training? For example: Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, Cornell’s GAPs online course or CAFF’s virtual food safety course. *

Food Safety - Part II

a) We acknowledge that we are subject to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that it is illegal to sell adulterated food [FD&C Act, sec. 301(a); 21 U.S.C. 331(a)]. *
b) Does your organization or participating farms have any other food safety certificates or licenses? Examples might include food safety handling licenses, organic certifications, environmental health permits, and/or shellfish handling and marketing certificates. *

d) Do you need assistance meeting any of the food safety requirements described above? *
e) In addition to fresh, whole, uncut fruits and vegetables, are you also able and interested in providing any of the following? *
 

Failure to upload any supporting documentation will not preclude your application from approval, but it may slow the process and involve more follow-up from Network Administrators to affirm organizational readiness and eligibility.

Technical Capabilities

The next questions are meant to assess your organization’s readiness to implement all aspects of a potential contract. Please answer the below questions with enough detail to adequately describe the operations of your organization.

As an organization, how many employees do you currently have on staff?
 Part-timeFull-timeVolunteers
#
Which of the following describe your organization’s capabilities if selected for this project? Choose all that apply. *
If you selected that you will be packing mixed boxes, please check off below which food items you are able and interested in providing.
If you selected that you will be providing bulk product (not re-packing into boxes), please check off below which food items will be included.
Do you plan to warehouse/store product on-site overnight as part of this project? *
 
Please indicate the type of storage and refrigeration on site. *

Do you plan to pack products for final shipment on-site as part of this project? *
Food Distribution sites will have the choice of requesting items in bulk or already packed in CSA-style boxes. Do you have the ability to pack and deliver CSA-style boxes? *

Please use your best estimate to answer the following two questions. Information will be used for project planning and to recommend contract opportunities that match your volume capacity.

Do you have the ability to pack and deliver palletized products? *

Please use your best estimate to answer the following two questions. Information will be used for project planning and to recommend contract opportunities that match your volume capacity.

In what vehicles will you make deliveries? Please indicate the number of vehicles you have in your fleet for each category and size where applicable.
 Number of vehiclesTrailer Size
Non-refrigerated cargo van
Refrigerated cargo van
Non-refrigerated box truck
Refrigerated box truck
Non-refrigerated tractor trailer
Refrigerated tractor trailer
Fleet Rental
For hire, subcontractor
Other (explain)

Project Experience

Have you had any experience with a CSA/Farm Box Program? *
Have you had any experience delivering food to an emergency food project such as a food bank or food pantry? *
Are you currently purchasing product from other agricultural producers? *
Are you currently aggregating/warehousing products on-site from other agricultural producers? *
If you are not currently purchasing product from other agricultural producers, do you plan to as part of this project? *
Please select the market channels that you currently sell into: *
 

Farm Sourcing, Product Availability

Farms Together seeks to create more market opportunities for agricultural producers as well as aggregating businesses who have been subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and, where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. While purchasing from these producers and aggregators is not a requirement, it is a priority, and therefore they are referred to as “priority” throughout this solicitation." While purchasing from priority farmers is not a requirement, it is a target.

Additionally, in California, Black and American Indian/Native Alaskan have historically and systematically been denied access and opportunity to own, lease and farm land. As a result, these groups are particularly underrepresented in the most recent farm census.

Lastly, this project has the intention of supporting small farms who most stand to benefit from the extra income. In the bid solicitations for approved vendors, preference will be made for vendors sourcing from small farms, measured by range of annual sales.

Please complete the following table with a representative selection of the farms you plan to work with in this project. It is important for us that you upload this list in this exact template. The list does not need to be exhaustive, but should be demonstrative of your ability to source a wide variety of produce from a diverse range of farms. This list will remain confidential and data will only be used in aggregate for reporting. Please download and complete this Farm Supplier List and upload as excel sheet.

Grading Criteria

Please review the Solicitation and Grading Rubric linked here to understand how points will be allotted for the farmers included in your application. 

This farmer list will inform the grading of future solicitation bids. Please fill out this list with the most likely supply chain you will tap into for this project. We recognize that your farmers may change over time, at this stage, please provide your best estimation of your farms. As you introduce other farmers over a contract period, we will request that you update Farms Together Administrators.

References

Please include 2-3 references that can speak to your ability to fulfill project expectations. At least one reference should be a farm and one should be a customer or recipient organization of your farm-sourced food. The Farms Together administrators reserve the right to call any listed reference.

Please ask your references to fill out this survey.

Statement of Intent

Please confirm that you meet all eligibility requirements (section 4) and are able to fulfill all program activities as stipulated in RFP Summary. *
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