USDA asks for bids on salmon, catfish contracts by 9 May

OBI Seafoods' canned salmon
OBI Seafoods' canned salmon | Photo courtesy of OBI Seafoods
2 Min

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking seafood suppliers to bid on contracts to supply salmon, catfish, and walleye for domestic food distribution programs. The deadline to submit bids is 9 May.

The USDA is seeking to buy 117,040 cases of canned pink salmon, 36,000 pounds of wild frozen salmon fillets, and 72,000 pounds of frozen walleye fillets.

In the agency’s solicitation for bids on catfish, it said it is seeking bids on 240,000 pounds of oven-ready breaded catfish strips and 152,000 pounds of raw unbreaded catfish fillets for a total of 392,000 pounds.

Winning suppliers will deliver seafood between July and December 2024.

This follows a USDA announcement in April 2024, that it would purchase more Alaska pollock, salmon, and other seafood for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), as well as for other federal food nutrition assistance programs.

In addition to catfish, salmon, and walleye, the USDA said it plans to purchase Alaska pollock fillets, surimi, and breaded sticks; Atlantic pollock fillets and breaded nuggets; haddock fillets; and ocean perch fillets.

Seafood suppliers will also benefit from the USDA’s new child nutrition standards for school meals. Under a new final rule published 25 April 2024, the USDA will allow schools to have greater flexibility with menu planning and an enhanced ability to purchase local seafood.

Additionally, starting in fall 2024, schools have the option to require unprocessed agricultural products to be locally grown, raised, or caught when making purchases for school meal programs, making it easier for schools to buy local foods.

Beginning in fall 2025, schools will have limits on the percentage of non-domestic-grown and -produced foods they can purchase, which will enhance the role of American farmers, producers, fishers, and ranchers in providing nutritious foods to schools,” the USDA said in a press release.

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