In most scenarios, when a load of produce arrives at its destination by truck showing signs of a breach of contract related to quality and/or condition issues, the receiver has the right to reject the load if the product has not yet been unloaded from the carrier. However, the receiver must first obtain a USDA inspection to support that the load does not meet the terms of the contract and is a rightful rejection.

Bryan Nickerson

As much as we’d wish it were true, not every disputed situation is black and white coupled with a clear cut remedied path to make us whole again. While we have the ability to review PACA precedent decisions to review outcomes of historic rulings and determine our likelihood of prevailing in certain situations, there still leaves some inevitable grey area when accessing liability. Below is a recently received member inquiry with provided details to determine which party would be held liable:

Bryan Nickerson

As we each work diligently within our respective operations to adopt new technologies and enhance best practices to make our lives easier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been focused with the same approach in mind. With that being said, USDA has recently announced that the Specialty Crop Program will be raising inspection fees effective October 1, 2019, as it transforms into a more data-driven, customer-focused organization.

Bryan Nickerson

As the saying goes, “Timing is everything” and that continues to ring true within your ability to quickly identify and pursue a claim against your buyer. The timing to commence a potential claim is not debatable; it should be when you first become aware of a problem with a shipment. It could be either a potential truck claim or dispute with a customer, whichever the case, the situation needs to be addressed immediately and memorialized through documentation. This may be accomplished by merely documenting a telephone conversation by sending a timely email to confirm your position.

Bryan Nickerson

“I have a number of loads to ship in the coming week(s) with confirmed prices and P.O. numbers exchanged, however, due to the weather conditions I do not have product available to fulfill my commitment with the buyer. The buyer is threatening to buy against my account if I don’t supply him with the product which has already been confirmed. What should I do now?”

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.

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