A USDA Inspection Certificate is the primary document that certifies the quality and condition of the produce shipped and will definitively establish either compliance or a breach of contract. The USDA certificate is an unbiased third party governmental official determination of the produce at contract destination and is considered prima facie evidence in a potential PACA proceeding, as well as in civil court.

Bryan Nickerson

Timely and verified rejections of fresh commodities at contract destination do occur, making it very important to know precisely how to handle your next moves. Once a contract has been amended, the seller must know how to hold the handler accountable to ensure they’ve maximized the forwarded net proceeds once all sales are completed. In this blog, I will cover what criteria makes-up a detailed account of sale and I will share a mock-accounting that you should always expect to see from the receiver when you are reconciling.

Bryan Nickerson

The wrath of COVID-19 continues to blur the lines between buyer and seller liabilities, so it is important to know how to properly handle a buyer’s order cancellation. In the last few weeks, I’ve received a handful of phone calls from shippers wanting to know if it is permissible for their buyer(s) to cancel orders that were in transit since the load had not yet arrived at contract destination. After I climbed back into my chair, I explained that whether the truck has arrived is a moot point; your buyer cannot unilaterally cancel a confirmed order at any time without your consent.

Bryan Nickerson

I receive daily inquiries from our shipper-members concerning problems on sales transactions happening on a real-time basis, or after the fact, and the member is endeavoring to arrive at a resolution. On such occasions, the inquiring-caller tells me that a federal inspection for condition and quality was secured at contract destination and he/she has granted the buyer Protection. My immediate follow up question is always to ask the caller what Protection means to them. Needless to say, I receive many unique explanations.

Bryan Nickerson

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Produce Insights

Stay up to date with best practices for selling and shipping fresh produce with our insider blog. Produce Insights offers expert guidance on all things related to PACA, product arrival issues, product guarantees, collections on slow pay, disputed contracts and so much more.

Members have relied on information from Western Growers when they’re in a pinch – trusting in our team's vast experience working with the produce industry, the DRC, CDFA, USDA and PACA to save them millions of dollars over the years.

Produce Price Index

Think farmers are making most of the money from your grocery bill? Think again. Use the Produce Price Index (PPI) to find out the difference between how much you spend on fruits and vegetables and how much actually goes back to the farmer.

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