Food Policy Standards

MOCS works with City agencies to encourage the purchase of food grown or produced in New York State and reports on such purchases.

New York State Food Purchasing Guidelines

Local Law 50 of 2011 required MOCS to establish guidelines for City agencies that assist in increasing the purchase of New York State food through food purchase and food-related services contracts. City agencies use the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) list of food items available from New York State sources.
Download the New York State Food Purchasing Guidelines
Download the New York State Foods Reference List

Local Law 50 of 2011 also requires the CCPO to report on the efforts during the preceding fiscal year to implement the city guidelines for the purchase of New York state food.
Download the Fiscal 2016 Local Law 50 Report

Vendor Resources

For Nonprofits with City Contracts

To help its nonprofit human service partners leverage their purchasing power, and reduce administrative costs, the City has established a Group Purchasing partnership with Essensa.

More information on Group Purchasing.

In addition to its other offerings, Essensa's Buy Local program allows nonprofits to purchase local food at low prices.

More information on Buy Local.

Greenmarket Co.
Greenmarket Co., GrowNYC’s new Long Island City based wholesale local food distribution hub, brings farm grown produce at good prices to New York City neighborhoods. Greenmarket Co. delivers local produce to bodegas, grocery stores, caterers, restaurants, institutional buyers and more, as well as brokering deals between purchasers and regional farmers. The hub also serves as a central distribution point to move wholesale produce to GrowNYC’s food access initiatives including Youth market farm stands, YUM Food Box, healthy school fundraisers along with sourcing for city and other projects such as DOE’s Garden to Café program and more.
Find out more

GrowNYC’s Wholesale Greenmarket
The Wholesale Greenmarket facilitates sales between wholesale buyers such as small grocers, institutions, restaurants, and distributors and small- and medium-sized growers from New York and adjacent states.
Learn more about Greenmarket.

Farmers Markets
Farmers markets can often accommodate agencies who have services or contractors purchasing in small amounts.
List of farmers markets

Farmers Web
Farmers Web is an online marketplace connecting local farms with wholesale buyers. Farms post and maintain their current availability along with delivery settings. Buyers can browse by item or farm and shop directly online. On Farmers Web, buyers can learn about the farms, growing methods used, and where the products are coming from.
Learn more

Pure Catskills
Pure Catskills is a buy local campaign aimed at supporting the local food community in the Catskills region. We work with hundreds of farm and food businesses throughout Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties in New York State. Access the searchable database of producers online or request a printed copy.
Learn more

Food Hubs
Increasingly, purchasers can connect to farmers through Food Hubs.
Find out how

Agency Solicitations

Under New York State General Municipal Law (GML) §103, City agencies have a number procurement tools to increase their options for purchasing New York State food products. For any direct purchase of food products covered by this option, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) would be the purchaser. For food-related services, such as catering or meal delivery services, other City agencies could be the purchasers. These tools include the following:

  • Price Preference for New York State Food
    City agencies may grant a “price preference” for New York State food, e.g., agencies may determine that it is appropriate to award a particular contract to a bidder offering New York State food products whose price falls within 10% of the lowest responsive, responsible bidder’s price, where that low bidder does not offer New York State food products.

Contact DCAS for more information on New York State food price preferences.

  • The purchasing agency may also mandate that a particular product, e.g., apples, come from New York State, limiting competition to bidders that can supply such products rather than similar products sourced from other locations.
  • The purchasing agency may purchase the types of products included on the NYSDA list, using solicitations that seek bidders for multiple “classes” of goods. Using this procedure, bidders can be invited to submit offers to provide either a bundle of goods that includes New York State food products (e.g., with a requirement for 30% of the class as such New York State food products) and/or a bundle of goods with no sourcing restrictions. Upon reviewing the bids received, DCAS may then decide to award a contract to either the low bidder in the first “class,” or the low bidder in the second “class.”
  • In addition to the above-described bid solicitation terms that specifically prefer New York State food products, purchasing agencies may use the “best value” provisions of GML §103 to craft solicitations that consider the freshness and perishability of the food being purchased, such as the number of days from harvest to delivery.
  • For City agencies that procure human services contracts that include the provision of food products as part of their scope of work, the solicitations for those programs may incorporate requirements applicable to such provision of food products, along the lines described above. Service providers responding to such solicitations may be evaluated with regard to their experience, organizational capability and/or approach to ensuring the appropriate use of New York State food products in their programs.

Where a New York State sourcing requirement is a material term of the contract, agencies may require vendors to submit reports detailing the source of the food provided and/or require vendors to ensure that all cases of New York State food products are labeled as such.
Please contact MOCSFood@cityhall.nyc.gov for assistance.