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Strenthening Local Food System Branding

Pennsylvania, United States
Download the rfp file: BFBLGLV RFP.pdf.

Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, a program of the Nurture Nature Center, is seeking a qualified marketing agency with experience in brand development and management; marketing; social media strategy; and market research. The work to be performed will support BFBLGLV's efforts to promote local farms and food, increase brand recognition and increase the number of people using direct market channels to purchase food.
It is the bidder's responsibility to provide all specified materials. Responses that are incomplete will not be considered. Proposals must be submitted to BFBLGLV by 5 p.m. March 25, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.
Questions regarding this RFP can be submitted to BFBLGLV Director Allison Czapp via email ( or phone (610-253-4190) by March 15, 2019. BFBL will respond to questions within three business days.


Pennsylvania's Greater Lehigh Valley (GLV) is home to a robust local food system, comprising 14 producer-only farmers markets, nearly 30 Community Supported Agriculture programs and many direct-market farmers selling at roadside stands and retail farm markets. Despite growth over the past decade, direct-marketing farmers and producer markets have reported slowing sales since 2016. Many consumers lack a full understanding about the importance of "buying local" and how farmers contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of their communities. Direct-market farmers also face challenges in reaching new customers as local branding becomes clouded by the greater availability of regional produce in large retail outlets. It is estimated that about 2% of the population uses direct sales channels to purchase their food.

Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley (BFBLGLV) is working to build the local food economy and address these challenges by educating consumers about the many benefits of choosing locally grown foods; promoting local food providers; improving fresh food access; facilitating local food purchases by wholesale buyers; providing research about our local food economy; and convening the Thriving Local Food System branch of the Food Policy Council.

Project Goals and Scope of Services

BFBLGLV works with about 100 partners, including growers, farm-to-table restaurants, institutions, and retail outlets to create a network of providers within the food system; however, food system entities can tend to be siloed by type (for example, farmers using the Community Supported Agriculture model vs. farmers who focus on farmers market or roadside stand sales). Our goal is for people to view all potential buying opportunities as a whole. The selected firm will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive and cost-effective collective marketing strategy to reach the broader public and strengthen local branding. The work to be performed will support BFBLGLV's efforts to promote local farms and food, increase brand recognition and increase the number of people using direct market channels to purchase food.
Project services will include but are not limited to:
The firm will serve as BFBLGLV's expert adviser on development and implementation of marketing strategies. The firm will develop a mixed-media marketing strategy focused on achieving BFBLGLV's goals. The strategy will also include advising BFBLGLV on brand development and maintaining brand consistency.
Market Research
The firm will organize and facilitate at least three focus groups in different areas of the Lehigh Valley comprising consumers who are not participating in the local food system. The focus groups will be used to determine messaging priorities. Other surveys may be executed as needed throughout the contract period, especially for project evaluation.
The firm will develop a paid media advertising strategy for the 2019 and 2020 seasons that adheres to BFBLGLV's advertising budget and priorities. The firm will provide graphic design and content development for digital, print, and other materials (posters, rack cards, brochures, etc.), as determined through contract negotiations. The firm will also develop an online marketing strategy for BFBLGLV Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Anticipated Selection Schedule
Request for RFP: March 1, 2019
Deadline for Bidders to Submit Questions: March 15, 2019
RFP Due: March 25, 2019, 5 p.m.
Selection of Top Bidders / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: March 27, 2019
Start of Negotiation: March 28, 2019
Contract Award / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: April 1, 2019
Time and Place of Submission of Proposals

Proposals are due to BFBLGLV by 5 p.m., March 25, 2019. Proposals can be emailed to BFBLGLV Director Allison Czapp at, or mailed to BFBLGLV, ATTN: Allison Czapp, 518 Northampton St., Easton PA 18042. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


Services under this proposal will be contracted for up to one year, approximately April 1, 2019 to March 30, 2020, or until the project elements are completed.

Elements of Proposal
A submission must, at a minimum, include the following elements:
Description of the firm that includes a general overview, names and credentials of creative team, number of full-time employees;
A one-page narrative outlining the firm's strengths and distinguishing skills or capabilities as they might relate to Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, as well as a list of prior clients;
A general outline of the process and work plan that you would propose to develop a branding/marketing strategy, including timeline and budget;
A representative selection of social media and print media ads, and printed promotional materials (posters, rack cards, postcards, etc.);
Certification that the firm is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Evaluation Criteria
The successful respondent will:
Have been operating continuously as a marketing agency for a minimum of 24 months and possess full-service, in-house capabilities for marketing, creative services, production, media planning and placement, direct response and research.
Have the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications of the firm and the individuals who will be available to provide these services.
Offer competitive cost of services.
Have expertise gained from working with similar customers.


BFBLGLV's budget for this project is $10,000.
General Terms and Conditions
This RFP shall not commit BFBLGLV or its parent organization, the Nurture Nature Center (NNC), to award a contract to any respondent or to pay any costs incurred by the respondent to prepare a proposal in response to this request. BFBLGLV and NNC reserve the right to accept or reject any and all proposals in whole or in part, negotiate with any and all bidders, and award single or multiple contracts. BFBLGLV and NNC reserve the right to cancel this request in whole or in part at any time. A vendor, if any, with whom BFBLGLV/NNC chooses to pursue a contractual relationship, will be chosen due to their RFP response offering the greatest benefit to BFBLGLV and not necessarily the lowest proposal cost.
BFBLGLV/NNC further reserve the right to request additional information, oral discussions or presentations to support, supplement or clarify any written proposal. In no event shall any consultant have any cause of action against BFBLGLV/NNC or any of its members or any officer or agents of the same arising out of, relating to, or in any way connected with this RFP.
BFBLGLV/NNC invite respondents of all sizes, whether they be solo practitioners or well-established agencies. While sub-contracting any phase of the work may be considered, the vendor submitting the proposal must assume full responsibility of the end-to-end process.
The pricing for services received from the vendor should be valid for a period of one year from the date of submission to BFBLGLV/NNC.
Use of Proposals and Consultant Work Product
During the process of evaluating the proposals, BFBLGLV/NNC reserve the right to request additional information or clarification from the consultants submitting a proposal, and to permit corrections of errors or omissions without notice to other competing consultants.
All materials and work product developed or purchased by the consultant in connection with this engagement shall be the property of BFBLGLV at no additional cost.
A vendor, if any, with whom BFBLGLV/NNC chooses to pursue a contractual relationship shall not make any reference to BFBLGLV/NNC in any literature, electronic media, promotional brochures or sales presentations without the express written consent of BFBLGLV/NNC.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
NNC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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