US government begins bid process for 320,000 pounds of breaded catfish

A breaded catfish fillet sold by America's Catch.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking for bids on 320,000 pounds of breaded catfish strips.

Bids are due by 4 August for the catfish, which will be used in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. The USDA will announce winning suppliers by midnight on 11 August. The suppliers must make deliveries to several U.S. cities in January and February 2022.

In early May, the USDA requested bids on nearly 2.7 million pounds of domestic catfish and purchased nearly USD 19 million (EUR 16 million) worth of the fish in late May.

The contracts for unbreaded catfish fillets and catfish strips were awarded to America’s Catch in Itta Benna, Mississippi; Heartland Catfish in Itta Bena; Consolidated Catfish Companies in Isola, Mississippi; and Magnolia Processing in Tunica, Mississippi.

In mid-May, the USDA announced its largest overall seafood purchase ever: USD 70.9 million (EUR 60 million) worth fish and shrimp products.

The purchases are part of the department’s Section 32 program, which buys surplus goods for nutritional programs. Federal lawmakers in seafood producing states worked to increase funding for the program in several COVID-19 relief bills to provide an additional market for fishermen who saw their businesses struggle to sell products during the pandemic.

Photo courtesy of America’s Catch


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