Administrative & Technical - Consulting & Other Services

Issue Date: 05/07/2024 Contract Number: RFA0340

2024 Apple Marketing Order RFA


 2024 Apple Marketing Order RFA


Application Due Date:  June 07, 2024, 4:00 p.m.


Submit applications by mail or email to:

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

Attn: Jon Marks

10B Airline Drive, Albany, NY 12235


The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (the “Department”), on behalf of the New York State Apple Marketing Order (“AMO”) Advisory Board (the “Board”), is soliciting proposals designed to enhance the competitive position of New York’s Apple industry, identify new or emerging market opportunities, or develop other creative approaches to increasing the sale and consumption of New York apples. The Board will consider funding efforts designed to promote, advertise and/or conduct market research on behalf of New York State’s apple industry.

This solicitation is seeking interest from eligible organizations with the experience and/or capability to implement marketing strategies aimed at increasing New York apple sales through the promotion of fresh apples, processed apple products or hard cider products.  Applicants may propose a wide variety of marketing activities including conducting market research leading to improved, targeted marketing campaigns. If interested in applying, an organization must submit a 2-4 page proposal (instructions below).  Proposals must identify specific issues or barriers to increased sales of New York apples and propose effective methods to overcome them.

Brief pre-recorded supplemental video presentations may also be submitted. Videos segments should be no more than 10-12 minutes per individual initiative/project. Please ensure these videos are not duplicative and cover areas that will not be covered at the meeting. Larger files may need to be sent via Dropbox link or a link using another cloud storage service, or by compressing the video into a zip folder. Videos should use the following naming convention: Organization Name + “2024 Application Presentation + Project Name (If applicable). Please remember this information will be open to the public so please keep this in mind before sharing any information that may be deemed proprietary.


If your application includes multiple projects, you are encouraged to list each project separately.

Proposal Selection and Funding:

The AMO Board is a group appointed by the Commissioner of the Department, representing New York’s apple industry statewide.  Their purpose is to recommend annual AMO priorities and funding levels to the Department based on industry need.  Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the Board, which will ultimately recommend whether a project should be selected for funding. 


The total funding request for each submitted proposal should be between $100,000 and $2,000,000.


As AMO funds come from industry contributions that vary each year, funding available via this solicitation is dependent on the projected amount of AMO funds available and the anticipated impact submitted projects will have on the industry. The Board may request, after reviewing proposals, to have applicants present on the proposed activities.  The Board may also request that adjustments be made to a proposal and/or budget, as deemed appropriate by the Board and can be accommodated by the applicant.



Emailed applications formatted as a PDF are encouraged. Applicants must submit to the Department a 2-4-page proposal with the following information:


1). Name of project (If your application includes multiple projects, please list each project separately):


2). Indicate one or more of the following priorities to be addressed by your proposal:

 a.) Increase the consumption of New York State apples.

Proposals should include public-facing initiatives aimed at boosting New York apple consumption. This includes the development of targeted marketing campaigns and creation of engaging content across diverse channels, such as digital, print, and social media. Additionally, proposals should outline strategies for implementing promotional events and activities to heighten awareness and stimulate consumer demand.  Projects may include broad marketing strategies or specific campaigns, such as a campaign aimed at driving consumers to U-Pick operations.

b.) Increase the visibility of New York Apples in the marketplace to expand New York apple sales.

Consumers can’t choose NY apples if they can’t find them. Applicants should propose methods to materially increase the visibility of New York apples in retail spaces. Collaboration with retailers, wholesalers, and other stakeholders is vital to enhance the availability and visibility of New York apples in the marketplace. Proposals must include plans for measurement and evaluation of campaign effectiveness using key performance indicators like sales data, consumer surveys, and brand awareness metrics.

c.) Increase markets and sales to New York schools, colleges/universities, institutions and food service companies that serve these purchasers.

Proposals should include marketing and promotional services to increase New York apple sales to government institutions and schools across the state. This involves, but is not limited to, conducting thorough market research to identify demand and opportunities, crafting customized marketing strategies and materials to advocate for New York apples among schools, institutions, and their distribution partners, as well as facilitating partnerships between apple producers, distributors, government agencies, and foodservice providers to boost procurement and utilization.  Additional deliverables could include training and educational resources to foodservice staff and educators, executing engaging promotional activities such as tastings and cooking demonstrations. Proposals should include methods of monitoring initiative impact through metrics like procurement data and consumption trends.

d.) Increase markets and sales in the NYC Metro region.

Proposals should include strategies for developing distribution partnerships and supply chain solutions to significantly improve the availability and accessibility of New York apples in various NYC retail outlets, such as supermarkets, specialty stores, and farmers' markets. This includes collaborating closely with local distributors, wholesalers, and logistics providers to identify barriers to sale and solutions to overcome them.

e.) Identifying methods for manufacturing cost-effective and/or sustainable retail packaging for New York apples that can be utilized with minimal restructuring or additional cost to the industry’s current manufacturing methods.

Proposals should aim to engage vendors proficient in providing packaging design and development services tailored to support apple packing operations, particularly in supplying custom packaging to wholesalers and retailers. This involves conducting market research and industry outreach to merge consumer preferences with retailer needs regarding apple packaging.  Crafting innovative packaging concepts that prominently showcase the origin of New York apples, utilizing sustainable materials and practices, collaborating closely with packaging manufacturers to ensure cost-effective production and scalability, conducting consumer testing and feedback sessions for refinement, and offering guidance and support to apple producers in implementing tailored packaging solutions. These efforts are designed to bolster the market appeal, authenticity, and accessibility of New York apples while effectively meeting the packaging needs of wholesalers and retailers.

f.) Identify and/or develop marketing opportunities created by the growing craft beverage industry for New York juice apples and New York hard cider.

Proposals should include marketing services and promotional initiatives aimed at elevating New York apples within the craft beverage and hard cider industry and positioning NY hard cider as the best in the nation.  Marketing efforts should promote NY apples as a premier ingredient for craft beverages, emphasizing their quality, flavor profiles, and suitability for hard cider making.  This may include targeted out-of-state sales & marketing campaigns for both apples/ juice for hard cider makers and NYS hard cider craft beverages.  Vendors may explore opportunities for export and market expansion beyond New York State borders, particularly targeting regions with emerging craft beverage and cider markets and develop strategies to establish a market for New York hard cider apples and hard cider products. Applicants may propose market research and industry analysis to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges, including consumer preferences and distribution channels.

g.)  Identifying underserved export markets and evaluating the opportunity for increased sales from NY shippers.

Proposals should evaluate emerging opportunities in key international markets. Market research should identify potential opportunities, risks and barriers to market entry and may propose a plan for expanding opportunities in markets

h.) Developing novel approaches to increasing New York apple sales (i.e. – an approach to increasing sales not outlined by the previous priorities).



3). Project Description.  Clearly and concisely describe the proposed project, proposed strategies, or other creative approaches to increasing New York apple sales.  Identifying specific issues or barriers and how these strategies will seek to overcome them.


4). Describe in detail the expected outcome(s) of the proposal and the anticipated economic benefit to New York State’s apple industry. Please include a specific goal(s) and what measurement will be used to determine if the goal(s) has been achieved. List “key performance indicators” that can be used to measure the success of the project.


5). Provide the applicant’s qualifications and experience with implementing marketing strategies and/or performing proposed research.  A portfolio/examples of past work may be included.


6). Outline the proposed budget to implement the proposal’s activities under the following categories:

A). Salaries

B). Fringe Benefits

C). Contractual

D). Travel

E). Equipment

F). Other



Eligibility and Additional Information:

Eligible applicants include non-profit entities, research institutions and private businesses that are not affiliated with the Board.  Project proposals may not benefit a single business entity or seek to disparage the quality, value or sale of any other agricultural commodity or business. Only reasonable and actual costs directly associated with the implementation of approved projects that are incurred during the contract period up to the amount awarded will be reimbursed.


While the Board will consider multi-year proposals, projects selected for funding will initially be contracted for a period of one year, as the availability of AMO funds vary each year. This also allows the Board to consider the effectiveness of the project.


Organizations that receive funding are required to present status updates periodically and provide an official annual/final report. The AMO Advisory Board will expect that any organizations which are successful in receiving AMO funding for their work will acknowledge AMO support in any publication reporting results of the sponsored project. In addition, electronic copies of final progress reports will be required, which the AMO may use in describing the project and its results in any publication or on the internet.

Due Date: 06/07/2024 4:00 PM

Contract Term: N/A


Ad Type: General

Primary Contact:     Agriculture & Markets, NYS Dept. of

Jon Marks
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
United States
Ph: 000-000-0000

Secondary contact:     Agriculture & Markets, NYS Dept. of

Jon Marks
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
United States
Ph: 000-000-0000