I am privileged to provide a guest article from Fred Webber, President and CEO of The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). The DRC is a non-profit, membership-based organization serving the produce trade. DRC provides harmonized standards, procedures and services to the produce industry that helps them avoid commercial disputes. When differences of opinion do occur, the DRC provides consultation, mediation and arbitration services to resolve the issue in a timely and cost-effective manner.
As always, I’m available to answer any questions you might have and I will try to address them in my upcoming blog posts. You may contact me at 949.885.2269 or email me at TommyO@wga.com.
Fifteen years of DRC
By Fred Webber – The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation President and CEO
Most of us will remember the year 2000 as the year the internet was supposed to crash; the Y2K or millennium bug was predicted to shut down commerce. Fortunately most recognized the threat and made adjustments in their technology to head it off.
Also in 2000 the DRC opened its doors and offered a solution to another business threat; namely the lack of a tool in Canada to deal with slow pay, no, pay, and disputes on private contracts. Those trading regularly in the Canadian market place recognized the benefits of such a system and as a result trade between the US and Canada became easier to navigate with the US and DRC systems having similar predictable outcomes.
Whether you believe the Y2K scare was real or not, there is little doubt software from 1999 will not run effectively in today’s environment. If you are not running DRC as part of your accounts receivable “program” you have a glitch potentially as damaging as that old software in the back of your desk drawer.
Most sellers of produce demand two things from a potential Canadian buyer; their credit rating and their DRC number. These are both great screening tools. However, knowing a firms rating is of marginal benefit if you do not subscribe to the credit rating agency and can get additional information.
The same is true of verifying the DRC membership. You will know a buyer with a DRC membership in good standing is currently paying their obligations and has no outstanding awards. If you are not a DRC member, however, the DRC cannot help you if the buyer defaults or you have a dispute after the sale.
Payment and contract issues are regular occurrence in our perishable fast moving industry. DRC membership is a way to prepare for that inevitable problem. And like the Y2K and millennium bug, you have to prepare for it before it happens.
I would urge you to call a DRC team member and make sure your accounts receivable program is 21st century ready!