January 7, 2020

Dispute Resolution and Produce Industry Expertise at Your Fingertips

As a benefit to Regular shipping members of Western Growers (WG), the Trade Practices & Commodity Services department has assisted members in consultation on sales contracts since 1966. This guidance and education of rights and remedies available to sellers of perishable commodities has been invaluable. As a direct result of this obtainable service, several million dollars per annual calendar year are recovered for WG regular members and millions more saved by members because of a phone call to WG.

The Trade Practices & Commodity Services department can lend real-time assistance in many areas including, but not limited to: PACA Reparation and Trust actions, import/export issues, Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) and Produce Blue Book Services inquiries, Good Delivery Guidelines, USDA/CFIA federal inspection analysis, product guaranty statements, review of marketing/sales agent contracts and answering daily questions concerning transportation and arrival problems of produce at contract destination. Additionally by request, we come to Regular member-operations and provide a 90-minute PACA 101 sales training for sales, accounting and management to better understand their rights and remedies under the PACA law to help get you paid on fulfilled sales transactions.

While most services are included in the Western Growers’ membership, whenever the Trade Practices & Commodity Services department’s efforts result in successfully recovering monies back to the member, an assessment of 5-10% of the amount collected is charged for rendering the service.

Effective January 1, 2020, the below recovery assessment fee schedule will apply:

  • Demand Letters and Buyer Contact – $75.00 per letter
  • PACA Reparation Actions
    • Informal complaints filing fee is $100 with recovery assessment rate @ 8%
    • Formal complaints filing fee is $500 with recovery assessment rate @ 10%
  • DRC-member Administrative Filing fees
    • $600 flat-fee for claims less than $15,000 with recovery assessment rate @ 8%
    • $700 for claims between $15,000 – $50,000 with additional arbitration fee and recovery assessment rate @ 10%
  • Blue Book Services Claim/Collection Assistance Fee
    • Blue Book Services fee of 12% with an additional recovery assessment rate @ 5%

Assessment Fee Schedule for Defending Members (Respondent)

  • Preparing Answer to the Formal Complaint – $200
  • Counterclaim PACA filing fee – $200
  • Preparing Answering Statement Affidavit – $200
  • Preparing a Brief – $200
  • Negotiated Settlement and Mutual Release – $250

Any Regular member of WG can access the Trade Practices & Commodity Services department by merely calling or emailing Bryan Nickerson, Manager, Trade Practices at 949.885.2392 or [email protected]. Once the request for assistance is received, the department will handle the matter until its ultimate conclusion for the benefit of the WG member. We stand ready to assist and protect our Regular members. Give Bryan a call today!