September 9, 2020

WG’s Trade Practices Department – Your One Stop Shop for Contract Compliance

The nexus for this blog in recent years has been focused on providing timely topics and solutions for Western Growers (WG) members, specifically for those individuals who participate or support the sales and marketing of fresh produce and are dealing with the occasional day-to-day challenges. Regular members of Western Growers have the opportunity, and are encouraged as part of their membership, to contact WG’s Trade Practices department for edification on PACA best practices, or anytime they find themselves in a situation where they are looking for guidance or coaching regarding a specific shipment of produce.

For instance, a phone or email inquiry might be submitted to me for interpreting the results of a USDA or CFIA inspection on your product, or review of a temperature recording tape or a TRU (temperature refrigeration smart unit) download. The Trade Practices department can assist you in a timely manner by evaluating whether or not your produce complied with the contract specifications at contract destination.

I encourage all WG regular members to take advantage of this service and, whether or not you utilize the guidance offered, it will provide you a baseline of how the situation could be ruled on by a USDA Judicial Officer if the matter were go to a Formal PACA Hearing. My approach is pragmatic, educating WG regular members on their rights and remedies when handling sales contracts so they can make better, more informed business decisions with their customers.

While the Trade Practices department may not always tell you what you want to hear about a particular shipment, it will give you a non-biased opinion based on the set of facts presented and using PACA precedent decisions to determine the outcome. Most inquiries I receive only take a few minutes to discuss, and provides you the reassurance that the due diligence has been done. I am here to help you, your company, and ultimately your growers.

Calculating compliance with good delivery at contract destination can be complex at times. As well, knowing who to call upon for help if there is a dispute can be overwhelming. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Western Growers Trade Practices Department’s Bryan Nickerson at [email protected] or 949-885-2392.