Posts By: Bryan Nickerson

Guest Blog: 10 Steps to Fight Freight Fraud

I am pleased to have guest contribution from Mrs. June Monroe with the esteemed law firm, Fennemore. June is a Director based out of the Irvine office who works in Agribusiness and Employment Law Practices Groups. June practices employment law, agricultural law, commercial law, secured transactions and general business law, concentrating on federal litigation, in district court and bankruptcy…

Carrying the Dispute Resolution Corporation Torch

The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 revolutionized the North American fresh produce industry, creating a unified marketplace and opening significant cross-border trade and investment opportunities. Despite its advertised benefits, however, this transformation also amplified the potential for disputes, contract breaches and related issues that invariably…

Building a Robust Company Credit Culture: Key Steps and Best Practices

A company's credit culture defines its approach to credit management throughout the organization, reflecting how decisions regarding credit are prioritized alongside other critical business initiatives. Ensuring timely payments from customers is vital for the success of any sales transaction. However, establishing and enforcing a comprehensive credit policy is often overlooked, leading to…

Guidance on Handling a Check Labeled ‘Full and Final’

It is not uncommon for produce buyers to issue payment checks to sellers for amounts less than the invoiced total, accompanied by restrictive endorsement language. This practice raises critical decisions for sellers, as accepting such checks may impact their ability to collect any remaining balance. Understanding the legal implications is crucial, and this blog aims to shed light on the…

Navigating the Path Ahead: The 2024 Transportation Outlook

Approaching the end of the year, it's remarkable how swiftly time has passed. Amidst this rapid progression, our dedication to ensuring the preparedness of the grower-shipper community remains unwavering. Given the dynamic nature of our industry, it's imperative that we consider key factors when assessing the freight forecasts presented by industry analysts. To navigate the evolving landscape of…

The Benefits of Securing a PACA License for Growers

In the volatile world of agriculture, unfortunate scenarios occasionally unfold where shippers, freezers, or marketing agents go out of business, leaving growers with unpaid debts. To safeguard their interests, growers can turn to the protections offered by the PACA Trust. However, to fully benefit from this trust, it is imperative for growers to adhere to specific filing procedures within a…

Cal Fleet Advisor: Moving to Zero Emissions for Medium & Heavy-Duty Fleets

The switch to Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Western Growers is teaming up with Cal Fleet Advisor to guide you through the decision-making process of transitions to EVs. Sign up for this 1 hour webinar to learn more about tailoring a plan for your fleets, and get your questions on ZEVs answered. Join Cal Fleet Advisor Deputy Director, Niki Okuk,…

Understanding USDA Appeal Inspections for Produce Shippers

If you find yourself in a situation where you believe that a USDA inspection has inaccurately described the condition of your produce upon reaching its contractual destination, it's important to know that you have the right to request a USDA Appeal Inspection to reevaluate the quality and condition of your product. This process is designed to ensure fairness and accuracy in assessing your…

How the Western Growers Transportation Program Delivers for Shippers

It's hard to believe that a year has flown by since Lauren Singh took charge of the Western Growers Transportation Program (WGTP). Over the past year, we have witnessed significant changes in the transportation market, shifts in consumer demand at the store level and evolving transportation requirements from our members. During this time, the WGTP successfully implemented Navisphere®…

Navigating a FOB Contract When a Scheduled Truck Pickup Fails

Dealing with a situation where a truck fails to show up for a scheduled pickup under a documented FOB contract can be complex and frustrating for shippers. To handle such scenarios effectively, a structured approach is essential. If you've established an agreed-upon appointment time for loading with the buyer, it's crucial to remain reasonable while assessing the situation. Here's a step-by-step…

WG Transportation Webinar: Build smarter supply chains. Start with Navisphere®.

From large shippers to small businesses, everyone can benefit from supply chain technology that drives greater efficiency and improves savings, reliability and visibility. With nearly 200,000 companies using it, Navisphere® is the most connected logistics platform with capabilities to transform your supply chain data into smarter…

Navigating Disputed Contracts for Fresh and Frozen Produce: The Significance of PACA Formal Decisions

In the realm of disputed contracts for fresh and frozen produce, the WG Trade Practices department plays a crucial role in representing shipper members. Frequently called upon to provide written justifications for suppliers based on specific sections of the PACA regulation, it is important to recognize that while these regulations define terms and outline responsibilities within the supply…

Produce Wars: PACA Law Update Webinar

Get debriefed on skirmishes among PACA trust creditors, disarming non-dischargeability possibly before SCOTUS, and factoring companies – friend, foe or frenemy? In this one-hour webinar, moderator Bryan Nickerson, Manager, Trade Practices at Western Growers, and PACA attorney June Monroe from Fennemore, LLP, take you through a short basic training and a full debriefing on recent PACA court…

Best Practices for Resolving Payment Disputes

The saying, “Timing is everything,” still holds true when it comes to identifying and pursuing a claim against a buyer. The timing to initiate a potential claim is not up for debate; it should be when you first become aware of a problem with a shipment. Whether it is a potential truck claim or a dispute with a customer, the situation needs to be addressed immediately and documented. You can…

Guest Post: Private Inspections and DRC Members obligations

For those WG shipper members that export into Canada, membership with the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) is a requirement. Guest columnist and DRC’s Director of Trading Assistance, Jaime Bustamante, provides his insights on the specific requirements to demonstrate when a commodity fails to meet contract terms at destination in Canada. "DRC Trading Assistance staff continue to see the…

Import/Export: Properly Classifying Your Commodity is Crucial

If you import or export product, it is your responsibility as the importer or exporter to properly classify your product. Customs classifications are complex and are used to determine applicable duties, trade statistics, and other government agency requirements. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) sets out the tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into…

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Reminds Buyers of Responsibilities for Preserving PACA Trust Rights in Electronic Invoicing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reminding buyers and sellers of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables subject to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) of the actions that must be taken for a seller to preserve their PACA trust rights in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or electronic invoicing (collectively, ...

Transportation Update: What to Expect in the Coming Months

Today’s transportation market continues to influence how shippers go to market with their freight. During the last quarter of 2022, it is likely there will be some normal cyclical uptick in the spot market. This will be caused by some reduction in active capacity as drivers take time off for the end of year holidays. ...

Create and Adhere to a Strong Company Credit Culture

Creating a strong company credit culture provides a universal way of doing business with the proper checks and balances in place from top to bottom within an organization. Making decisions about credit is just as important as other critical initiatives that make your company successful. After all, selling produce to companies who will pay for the ...

Standard Operating Procedures To Help You Get Paid (Part 2)

As covered in last month’s Part One blog, attorney Bart Botta laid out some of the industry’s best practices in ensuring shippers get paid on fulfilled sales transactions. Now that your sales documents are in order, and you’ve properly vetted the new customer, everything should be set for selling to this customer. Once your sales ...