Each year the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) collaborates with the Food and Nutrition Service, Foreign Agricultural Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development to purchase and distribute over $4 billion of U.S. agricultural products for distribution to schools, food banks, Tribal organizations, and international food aid operations, among others. AMS solicits for a large variety of products from vendors qualified to do business with the Agency. It is AMS's ongoing goal to increase the number of small and underserved businesses participating in the USDA food procurement program, as well as to increase the availability of culturally appropriate foods.
In keeping with ongoing efforts to increase the number of small and underserved businesses participating in the USDA food procurement program, as well as increasing access to culturally appropriate foods, AMS is seeking public input on perceived barriers that small businesses, those owned by underserved businesses, and providers of organic, kosher and halal agricultural products face in working with AMS' Commodity Procurement Program. This input will be used to update CPP's Small Business and New Vendor Strategy as appropriate.