Bid Technical Assistance

The Farm to Institution Center has created a template grading system to use when applying geographic preference in an institution’s produce solicitation.

What is geographic preference? Geographic preference is language used in procurement solicitations that provides bidders located in a specified geographic area additional points or credit that is calculated during the evaluation of the received proposals.

Background: The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the use of geographic preference for procuring local food through Child Nutrition Programs. Geographic preference cannot be used a s requirement or specification but it can be incorporated into a competitive solicitation by scoring vendors on a variety of services offered outside of price.

Allowable use of geographic preference: Geographic preference can be used to purchase local, unprocessed agricultural products. Only certain agricultural products quality for use of geographic preference. They are products that maintain their inherent character, also known as minimally processed or unprocessed products.

Over the past few years, we have provided this support to the following school districts: Solana Beach, Vista Unified, Encinitas Union, Escondido Union, Oceanside Unified, Fallbrook Union Elementary, and San Ysidro.