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Farm to School Purchasing

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Local Purchasing Resources!

Geographic Preference Rule

Geographic Preference Resources

One of the best tools for schools looking to buy local food is the geographic preference option, which allows purchasers to include language in solicitations so that vendors who can supply local products have an edge. Schools get to decide for themselves how to define local, how much preference to give to local items, and how exactly to structure their solicitations. Now, two new resources are available to help schools incorporate geographic preference correctly and successfully!

The USDA farm to school team recently developed a fact sheet titled Geographic Preference: What it is and how to use it, which gives a quick overview of the law and associated regulations and then walks through three ways to use the geographic preference option.

In addition, School Food FOCUS has released Geographic Preference: A primer on purchasing fresh local food for schools, which provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement a geographic preference policy, starting with articulating the legal authority and rationale for buying local foods. For more helpful procurement links, check out our resources page.