WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has made the process easier for suppliers to apply to be approved USDA food vendors by removing a significant barrier to participation. The Agricultural Marketing Service’s Commodity Procurement Program (CPP) has changed how it assesses the financial responsibility of suppliers interested in selling to USDA.
To streamline the new vendor process and increase vendor participation, in December 2022, CPP removed the need for vendors to provide audited or reviewed financial statements. Instead, to determine financial capability, CPP will obtain a Contractor Responsibility Assessment Report (CRA) from FedDataCheck.
“Due to the cost and time involved, the requirement to provide certified financial statements has long been a barrier keeping both small and large businesses from participating with USDA as approved vendors,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “As part of creating more and better markets, USDA is working to remove prohibitive barriers like this and enable more market opportunities and more profit for American producers. This new process is one more instance of USDA transforming America’s food system by promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers.”
Under the new system, in order to pull the CRA report, it is essential for vendors to be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) and have a Unique Entity Identifier.