Locally owned Rovira Foods Inc. has received a $726,213 federal contract to produce unsalted crackers to be delivered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Distribution Program on the mainland.
A collaborative effort among the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands district office, SBA’s Procurement Center Representative (PCR) and the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension (PRiMEX) allowed the company to learn about existing federal contracting opportunities for the food manufacturing industry, SBA officials said.
“We’re very pleased that a local food manufacturer has been awarded a federal contract that had been previously awarded to a stateside company,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo. “This U.S. contract to a Puerto Rican food manufacturer is one of what we hope are many in the near future, so that we may continue creating jobs in Puerto Rico.”
Manufacturing comprises 46 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, with 1,703 companies representing that sector. Of this figure, 486 are food manufacturers with sales of more than $1.2 billion, the SBA confirmed.
Collazo noted that it was during a “Federal Contracting Opportunities in the Food Industry” conference, hosted by PRiMEX as part of manufacturers week on the island, that Rovira met SBA and PRiMEX officials and began learning of the solicitation process.
This success story is the result of joint efforts after SBA and PRiMEX entered a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM), she added.
PRiMEX Executive Director Migdalia Rosado emphasized the importance of joining the efforts of state and federal governments with those of the private sector, academia and the media, to inform and educate our small business manufacturers about existing opportunities in federal contracting, as well as the steps required to expand and export products and services.
“We’re proud that Rovira has obtained this federal contract, which no doubt will result in job retention and creation on the island. This accomplishment belongs to all of us, in particular to everyone that got together to celebrate two weeks of manufacturing this year,” Rosado said.