It is that time of the year when leafy greens can be exposed to field freeze conditions. USDA Market News has been reporting in Western Arizona that “Harvest delayed by ice in fields until approximately 10:00 a.m.” on green leaf crops. I am receiving numerous calls from our members wanting to review the verbiage on their invoice that can exclude these condition defects, so I thought this would be an opportune time to review what is necessary to exclude the effects of field freeze from your sales contracts.
First, when negotiating your contracts, you as the sales person, need to verbally explain to the buyer that due to recent cold and freezing temperatures in the region, where the leaf green crop is being harvested, that you will be excluding from the contract all effects of field freeze damage. Once your buyer has accepted those terms, you need to print those terns on you passing and your invoice to memorialize the agreement.
The following is “sample language” that needs to be printed on both your invoice and passing:
ALL SALES F.O.B. NO GRADE CONTRACT WITH GOOD DELIVERY STANDARDS APPLYING EXCLUDING BRUISING AND/OR DISCOLORATION FOLLOWING BRUISING. IN ADDITION, ALSO EXCLUDED FROM THIS CONTRACT ARE ALL EFFECTS RELATED TO FIELD FREEZE DAMAGE. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TOO, EPIDERMAL PEEL, BLISTERING, FEATHERING, DISCOLORATION OF THE WRAPPER LEAVES AND ALL OTHER RELATED DEFECTS.
Remember that even with an exclusion, there is always an implied warranty of merchantability connected to every contract, meaning unless it’s sold on a FOB Acceptance Final “AS IS” basis, an implied warranty of merchantability is still applicable. The rule of thumb is you are not allowed to exceed 33 percent field freeze condition defects. Defects attributable to field freeze fewer than 33 percent you should make contract, as long as you make good arrival based on other condition defects not associated with field freeze.
Should you have any questions concerning exclusion from your contract concerning the effects of field freeze or any other factors, please contact me at 949-885-2269 or TommyO@wga.com.