March 31, 2016

To: All interested parties

From: Sunrise County Economic Council

Subject: Request for Proposal for County-wide Refrigerated, Frozen, and Cool Food Delivery and Logistics Services

Statement of Purpose
Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) is seeking proposals to contract refrigerated/frozen/cool food delivery.  The contract will include logistics and delivery on a once weekly basis over a 250 mile loop among markets, schools and institutions on or near Routes 1 and 9 in Washington County for 36 months. Services to be contracted include not only transportation, but logistical management of food pick-ups and deliveries as well as provision of unified distribution labeling as needed.

Background Information
The Sunrise County Economic Council initiates and facilitates the creation of jobs and prosperity in Washington County, Maine. Through its Sunrise Food Infrastructure Initiative, SCEC is strengthening the local food economy by dismantling roadblocks and creating opportunities tied to local food activities in Washington County. Last year, SCEC under took a study of local food market viability, and identified distribution bottlenecks as a substantial barrier to the growth of local food markets.

Scope of Work
The successful proposal will provide cool/refrigerated/frozen transportation, logistical management and unified labeling for foods distributed to and collected from markets and institutions on or near Routes 1 and 9 on a weekly basis.

Contingency

Any contract under this RFP will be contingent upon SCEC’s successful procurement a Local Foods Promotion Program Implementation Grant from the USDA.  SCEC anticipates submitting an application in May 2016.   A decision on the application is expected by September 30,P P2016.  If awarded funding by the USDA, SCEC will work with the contractor to begin service as soon as reasonably possible after October 1, 2016.

Outcome and Performance Standards
The successful proposal will address the following outcomes and performance standards:

  1. 156 weeks of cool/cold/frozen delivery service on a once weekly basis along Route 1 extending from Topsfield to Milbridge and returning along Rt. 9. The service will make stops at schools, grocery/general stores, buying clubs, and institutions on or near the routes, including stops in Eastport, and Lubec. (An approximately 250 mile loop).
  2. Procurement and use of logistics software and hardware to allow simultaneous product pick-ups and drop-offs along the course of the route.
  3. Management of client accounts (both producers and retailers) including timely payments (30 business day turn around) and recordkeeping which insures traceability of food products.
  4. Creation of and compliance with a HACCP plan to assure proper food handling and safety as well as cold chain protocols.
    1. These plans and protocols will be filed with and monitored by SCEC staff.
    2. The successful contractor will agree to implement corrective actions as requested by SCEC staff if HACCP plan standards or cold chain protocols are identified as being unmet.

Deliverables
Submission of:

  1. HACCP Plan
  2. Proof of commercial trucking insurance including liability insurance
  3. Proof of commercial driver’s license
  4. Cold Chain Protocols
  5. Producer agreements
  6. Monthly report including:
    1. Number and location of serviced stops

Break down of products transported in terms of weight/volume and value.

Term of Contract
This contract would start as soon as reasonably possible after October1, 2016 and continue until September 30, 2019. Performance under the contract will be contingent on SCEC receiving funding from the USDA LFPP.

Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
The contract is intended to subsidize the development of an independent wholesale food distribution service in Washington County.  SCEC plans to subsidize this service on a per mile driven basis.  In addition, the successful bidder would be empowered to charge producers using the service up to 15% of the wholesale value of the cargo. A highly successful bidder will use this program to develop a self-sustaining wholesale food delivery business.

  1. Adequate service includes:
    1. Weekly service to all stops requesting service 24 hours in advance of the scheduled run.
    2. Compliance with HACCP plan
    3. Maintenance of cool chain
    4. Full traceability of food products.
  2. Inadequate performance or a failure to comply with contractual terms and conditions can result in non-payment and/or contract cancellation.
  3. Adequate service will result in monthly payment on the contract.

Contractual Terms and Conditions
At all times, successful bidder must maintain a valid commercial driver’s license and commercial truck insurance and business liability coverage of at least $1 million per occurrence.

Requirements for Proposal Preparation
Successful proposals will include:

  1. Per mile cost
  2. Address how the applicant would meet each of the outcomes and performance standards
  3. Submit a HACPP plan
  4. Submit proof of required licenses and insurances
  5. Supply a cold chain protocol

Evaluation and Award Process

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  1. Supported ability to meet the outcomes and performance standards outlined.
  2. Competitive price
  3. Comprehensiveness of HACCP plan and cold chain protocols
  4. Possession of appropriate licensure and insurances

Preference will be given to proposals which not only adequately meet the evaluation requirements, but also have a positive employment impact in Washington County.

Process Schedule
April 1: Request for Proposals Advertised

April 22:  Closing date for proposal submission at 5:00 PM EST.

May 4: Evaluation of request proposals completed

May 6: Announcement of successful contingent contract

Contacts
Requests for Proposals and queries should be directed to Tanya Rucosky, Local Foods Program Manager for Sunrise County Economic Council at: trucosky@sunriscounty.org.

FAQs

“Do I need a CDL if my truck is not a Class A vehicle?”  No. You must, however, have the appropriate license for the operation of  the vehicle your propose to use.

“Do I need cargo insurance, and if so, how much?” No. Proof of cargo insurance is not required for the proposal process.  The successful applicant, however, will need to purchase $100,000 of cargo insurance before deliveries are undertaken.