USDA Foods Procurement

One way NABC helps build demand and growth for blueberries in the U.S. market is through our work with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The AMS purchases 100% domestically produced and processed food products to support agricultural producers and grow demand for U.S. agricultural products. The various programs, collectively known as USDA Foods, are purchased and delivered to schools, food banks and households in communities across the country. These programs play a vital role in our nation’s food security.

NABC advocates for U.S. highbush blueberry inclusion in multiple procurement programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); Section 32 (formerly known as the “Bonus Buy” program); and the Trade Mitigation Programs.

Serving Healthful Blueberries in Student Lunches

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) maintains a list of available food items for the NSLP. In fiscal year 2020, NABC helped ensure frozen highbush blueberries (30 lb. case and 12/2.5 lb. bag) were included on the “USDA Foods Available List for School Year 2021 for Schools and Institutions.” NABC is working with USDA Foods to add dried highbush blueberries to the list as well.

Bonus Blueberries through Section 32

Under Section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935, USDA may purchase and distribute agricultural products and processed foods to various food nutrition assistance programs to stabilize agriculture markets while increasing the supply of nutritious foods available for domestic food assistance programs. USDA accepts proposals from industry on a rolling basis for Section 32, formerly known as the “Bonus Buy” program. NABC submits proposals on behalf of the U.S. highbush blueberry industry based on input from the NABC AMS Procurement Task Force of the NABC Legislative Committee.

Pursue Opportunities for Your Business Through USDA Foods 

AMS issues solicitations and purchases commodities on an ongoing basis.

Key Milestones on Making a Difference:
NABC and USDA Foods

2012

USDA Foods procured 7,603,200 pounds worth $12.4 million of frozen highbush blueberries (30 lb. case and 12/2.5 lb. bag)

2016

USDA Foods began purchasing dried highbush blueberries, in the amount of 827,904 pounds worth $4 million

2018

USDA Foods began purchasing frozen mixed berry cups (including frozen blueberries and strawberries), in the amount of 17,673,600 pounds worth $27.8 million

2020

USDA Foods procured a record amount of frozen and dried highbush blueberries, including:

  • 1,803,648 pounds of dried highbush blueberries worth $7.1 million 
  • 15,246,000 pounds of frozen highbush blueberries worth $17.8 million 
  • 10,281,600 pounds of frozen mixed berry cups worth $15.9 million