With the passage of Local Law 50 of 2011 (LL50), City agencies have helped provide New Yorkers with fresh, healthy, and delicious food produced locally in New York State (NYS). The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, in consultation with the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, promulgated guidelines for City agencies to increase procurement of food from NYS growers and producers. LL50 includes an annual report of direct and indirect local food purchases by the City. Due to the unprecedented and ongoing disruption of COVID-19, gathering data for the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) was even more challenging. We offer FY20 data below.
City agencies purchase food directly and indirectly from food vendors. Most direct food purchases are made by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) on behalf of City agencies. Sourcing local food from NYS growers is a priority and there are contracting mechanisms that support locally grown food. In FY20, DCAS issued $100 million of procurements to purchase food that included price preferences for NYS food. Vendors who responded to the FY20 LL50 food sourcing survey had $256,585 worth of DCAS food-related contracts, of which 21.1%, or $54,250, was spent on NYS sources.
City agencies indirectly procure food through contracts with vendors to deliver services. The NYS food procurement guidelines extend to contracts that have $100,000 or more in spending related to food. The City agency portfolio includes 143 of such contracts, totaling roughly $185 million in food spending in FY20. Vendors who responded to the FY20 LL50 food sourcing survey had $16.7 million worth of City agency food-related contracts, of which 35%, or $5.8 million, was spent on NYS sources.
To account for direct and indirect food purchases, LL50 requires agencies to distribute an optional annual food sourcing survey to applicable contract vendors. The food sourcing survey gathers data about the type, pricing, and volume of food purchased during the fiscal year. The LL50 report summarizes the total volume of food reported by respondents as purchased during FY20 from NYS sources. This year’s data is provided below. While COVID-19 created particular challenges to collecting data for FY20, the survey itself is historically difficult for vendors to complete, especially nonprofit providers who are the majority of indirect food purchasers. The breadth of questions and data collection is vast, and providers do not typically track this data on an ongoing basis. MOCS will continue its collaboration with vendors and the Office of Food Policy to consider opportunities to revise this data collection exercise and to streamline the preparation of the final report..
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
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.
Farmers markets can often accommodate agencies who have services or contractors purchasing in small amounts.
List of farmers markets
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 about Farmers Web
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 about Pure Catskills
Purchasers can connect to farmers through Food Hubs.
Learn more about Food Hubs
Under New York State General Municipal Law (GML) §103, City agencies have a number of 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: