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Frequently Asked Questions

RFPs for Service Providers

To ensure fairness and transparency during the open Request for Proposals (RFP) process, Carbon A List observes a "quiet period," which begins when the RFP is issued and ends upon the contract award announcement.

To support proposers in their submission process, we have established this FAQ site for Service Contractor RFPs and we encourage you to submit any questions you might have via the FAQ form below. We strive to answer all submissions promptly and thoroughly, and may elect to combine similar questions and responses; however, Carbon A List will not respond to inquiries about specific proposals or engage in one-on-one conversations related to the RFP.

Our goal is to conduct a fair, transparent, and efficient selection process, and we thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We appreciate your interest in collaborating with Carbon A List and your adherence to these guidelines during the RFP process.

Questions

Can the Service Provider subcontract some of the work? 

Yes, subcontracting is allowed but must be identified in the SOW. Subcontractors should be licensed and insured. 

What happens if there are changes to the project scope? 

Carbon A List can modify, suspend, or terminate the project, with potential adjustments to payments. 

What is the term of the agreement and conditions for termination? 

The agreement is effective until June12, 2028. It can be terminated on breach, with specific provisions detailing rights that survive termination. 

What are the confidentiality and indemnification clauses? 

Both parties have an obligation to maintain confidentiality of non-public information. There is mutual indemnification for losses due to negligence, breach, or infringement of third-party rights. 

Are there any specific compliance requirements? Under what law is this agreement governed? 

Compliance with USDA terms and conditions, applicable laws, and Carbon A List's sustainability principles is mandatory. The agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Colorado. 

What does the agreement say about the relationship between the parties? 

The relationship is defined as independent contractors. There are restrictions on assignment and change of control without consent. 

Are there any special provisions regarding advertising and non-disparagement? 

There are restrictions on advertising against agricultural commodities. 

What is the full budget of this project beyond the communications component?

Carbon A List, partnering with Danone North America and project partners, has been awarded a $70 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities grant.

The RFP talks about a 5-year plan, but the end date is June 2028. What is the timeframe of this project?

The period of performance runs June 12, 2023 through June 12, 2028.

Your RFP indicates an annual budget of $50,000, which may not be sufficient for the size and scale of the project outlined. Is this budget negotiable?

Our anticipated budget is $50,000, with a maximum budget of $249,999 for the duration of the contract. We invite proposers to consider offering tiers of service within that range, allowing Carbon A List to select the level of service that best aligns with our current needs and financial constraints.

Given the budget limitations, would you be open to a shorter engagement to enable a more robust communications program utilizing the available resources

The Grant period of performance runs through June 12, 2028. All contracts associated with the Grant will end within the Grant period of performance. Communications services will be needed throughout the period of performance, though exact needs may vary from year to year. We invite proposers to consider offering tiers of service within their proposed budget. The approach should delineate a range of service options, allowing Carbon A List to select the level of service that best aligns with our current needs and financial constraints.

Can you provide more detail on the relationship between F2C and Carbon A List (CAL)

Carbon A List is the administrator of the USDA Grant, titled Transforming the Farmer to Consumer Supply Chain Project (“TransformF2C”). “F2C” is shorthand for the name of the Grant. Carbon A List has partnered with Danone North America on this Grant.

Who are Carbon A List's key stakeholders

Our key stakeholders include:

 

Agricultural Producers (Farmers and Dairy Operators): They are at the core of implementing climate-smart agriculture practices. Given the focus on small and underserved farms, these stakeholders are pivotal for the success of the project.

Industry Partners and Service Providers: Collaborators and partners are essential for the infrastructure and financial support necessary to make climate-smart commodities a viable option.

Government Agencies (e.g., USDA): Their support and regulatory compliance are crucial for long-term sustainability and funding.

Consumers and Retail Brands: Engagement with these groups is vital for creating demand for climate-smart commodities.

Environmental NGOs: Their endorsement can lend credibility and support to the project's environmental claims.

What brands or retailers are you planning on engaging with? Do you currently have a relationship with these brands and retailers? 

Carbon A List has partnered with Danone North America on this Grant, and engaged several other potential partners across consumer-packaged goods, energy, and retail.

Can you share more about the size of the farms and farmer demographics? 

The initiative will involve more than 350 participating farms across 18 states. This will include over 32,000 farm acres, as well as 48,000 head of cattle across 57 managed dairy projects. Partners expect implemented project practices to remove 57,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the 5-year period.

Are you seeking a partner to both create and fully execute a communications program, or should the program be geared towards equipping your internal team to implement the plan themselves? 

 

We are seeking a partner to lead the development of a communications strategy that equips our internal team for long-term strategic engagement with our Partners and stakeholders. The partner will be responsible for establishing a clear framework and structure for strategic communication efforts. They will work with our team to implement tactics and advise on best practices.

Are there any peer organizations whose communications efforts you admire and would like to emulate? 

Without naming specific organizations, we are inspired by successful strategies in stakeholder engagement, clear communication of complex sustainability concepts, and the ability to forge impactful partnerships across the agricultural value chain.

Regarding the need for risk mitigation support, can you share a bit more about the potential risks you anticipate? 

Risks may include market volatility, changes in environmental regulations, and potential resistance from farmers due to the upfront cost or complexity of transitioning to climate-smart practices.

Typically our firm works on a monthly retainer model. Is it acceptable to provide a budget in monthly retainer form? 

A retainer model is acceptable, so long as it specifies details about the scope of services provided.

Can you provide more detail on what media you anticipate interacting with and what media CAL needs training for? Who needs media training? What types of media experience do they have? Do the trainees include farmers?

We anticipate interacting with a range of media including digital platforms, traditional news outlets, and specialized agricultural media. Training will be focused on effectively communicating complex agricultural and environmental concepts in an accessible manner, managing public relations, and leveraging social media for broader impact. We recognize the need to train our stakeholders not only in media interaction but also in utilizing digital platforms to amplify our message.

Media training is anticipated to be limited to the Project Lead and select Grant representatives, which may include additional Carbon A List staff, Grant Partners, and/or enrolled farmers. Media experience will vary.

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