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US Army Medical Course MD0714-100 - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

US Army Medical Course MD0714-100 - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables


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Published by: Georges on Nov 24, 2008
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Defense Personnel Support Center (DPSC) procures the majority of FF&V for the
military services, for both troop issue and commissary resale. The DPSC has several
methods by which to procure FF&V items, for the most part, uses the best-value
selection procedure.

a. Best-Value Selection Procedure. Under the "best-value selection
procedure", the DPSC buyer makes visual comparisons between competitive suppliers
and awards the contract to the supplier that has product of best value to the government
in terms of price, quality, condition, and other factors. Therefore, under this procedure,
the contract is not necessarily awarded to the lowest bidder. Produce purchases are
grouped into two major categories, carlot (trucklot) and less-than-carlot (less-than-
trucklot), depending on the quantity involved.

(1) Carlot quantity or field buying. The procurement of carlot quantities is
also known as field buying. A carlot or trucklot quantity is 20,000 pounds or more,
composed of one or more items being procured on a single contract. The term field
buying is derived from the fact that a DPSC buyer visits the growing areas or packing
facilities before a contract is awarded.



(a) Example. Fresh fruits and vegetables are procured in carlot
quantities if they have a reasonable storage life and are used in sufficient quantities to
justify volume buying. For example, apples, oranges, pears, cabbage, onions, potatoes,
lettuce, and celery are commonly procured in carlot quantities by field buyers.

(b) Buyer receives requirements. For the best-value selection
procedure, the DPSC field buyer receives consolidated requirements from the acquiring
office headquarters. These requirements specify the types of fresh fruits and
vegetables needed, quantity, required delivery dates, and the delivery point.

(c) Buyer solicits bids. After requirements have been received, the
DPSC field buyer visits the growing area or packing facilities and solicits bids from all
feasible sources in the growing area. As each farm or packing facility is visited, the
buyer selects samples and physically examines the product offered to see if the item will
meet contract requirements. The price, quantity, quality, name of firm, and other
relevant information are recorded on the buyer's worksheet.

(d) Buyer reaches agreement with supplier. The buyer assures that
the potential supplier has sufficient quantity of product on hand which meets specific
requirements and that there is a complete buyer/seller understanding as to terms and
conditions of the contract. Special emphasis is placed on price, grade, condition,
maturity, size, and other qualifying factors. Agreement is also reached about the
acceptance point where supplies will be inspected for compliance and acceptance.

(e) Buyer awards contract. After all potential suppliers have been
canvassed, the contract is awarded to the supplier using the best-value selection

(2) Less-than-carlot-quantity or street buying. The acquisition of quantities
of less than 20,000 pounds is known as less-than-carlot (LCL) or less-than-trucklot
(LTL). The term "street buying" is derived from the fact that the DPSC buyer visits a
terminal or local market before a contract is awarded.

(a) Example. The DPSC procures in LCL/LTL quantities fresh fruits
and vegetables that are considered to have short storage life and procured in small
quantities. Strawberries, parsley, eggplant, and rhubarb are commonly procured in
less-than-carlot quantities.

(b) Procedure. The DPSC street buyer receives consolidated
requirements from the acquiring office. The street buyer then visits the terminal or local
markets that are usually located in the metropolitan area. The buyer solicits offers from
all qualified sources and uses the best value selection procedure. The same
procedures are used by the DPSC street buyer and the DPSC field buyer. In both
methods, the buyer visits as many qualified suppliers as practical so as to assure full
and free competition, thereby protecting the financial interests of the Government.



b. Request for Proposal. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are procured by the
carlot and less than carlot methods. A Request for Proposal (RFP) is an alternative
method that is available for use. The RFP is a solicitation that lists all essential
information. It is printed and mailed out to interested, qualified suppliers, who then
submit their offers or bids. All offers are recorded by the acquiring office. The contract
is subsequently awarded, based on the lowest quoted bid. The successful bidder must
furnish a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certificate of Inspection to
substantiate contract compliance. The RFP method is not a best-value selection
procedure. Cost is the only factor in the selection procedure. The contract is awarded
to the lowest bidder.

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