August 15, 2018

Establish your own Internal Arrival Inspection Check List

Many Western Growers members will routinely request help with providing an internal check list of questions for shippers to ask when produce arrives at contract destination and there has been an USDA or CFIA inspection secured. Such a document is a best practice in order to establish an expected discipline with your sales staff to, as a matter of routine, ask the correct questions, and determine compliance with the terms of the sales contract.   

The following are some suggested questions (you may have others) that are basic fact checking before making a determination on whether a commodity complies with contract at destination:

  • Is the inspection location the same as in the negotiated contract?
  • Who ordered the inspection and what was the request date and time? 
  • Where was the inspection performed (on/off trailer, applicant warehouse, city, state)
  • What was the ship date?
  • What was the arrival date?
  • What was the date and time of the inspection?
  • How many cartons shipped?
  • How many cartons inspected?
  • What were the pulp temperatures?
  • What was the label on the product inspected? Review inspection for any other coding, ID numbers, or other markings listed on the inspection to help you match the load shipped.
  • Look at condition defects only (separate quality and grade defects)
  • Does it make good arrival?  (Good Arrival Guidelines)
  • Review portable temperature recording unit and download of TRU (trailer refrigeration unit).

The above are the crucial observations that need to be made before you consider any sort of business decision to adjust the sales contract, and most can be obtained from the destination inspection certificate, as well as your retained shipping documents.  It is prudent to get these questions immediately answered upon arrival and act in the best interest of your company and growers whom you represent. (Notice of Complaint Form)

Familiarity with the reviewing of USDA inspection certificates and CFIA inspection certificates will be the foundation to determining compliance of your produce under the terms of the negotiated FOB or Delivered sales contract. Western Growers staff can assist with a timely review of any type of inspections (in-house and federal) and provide an ongoing real-time resource. The power and knowledge of understanding how to quickly assess an inspection and separate condition defects from the quality defects, will empower the sales staff with the tools to maximize returns to the farm. Western Growers regular members can utilize the services of Trade Practices to review and help you interrupt your inspections, please email Ken Gilliland, [email protected] 949-885-2267  or Bryan Nickerson, [email protected] 949-885-2392.