While disputes in the produce industry are rare, when they occur, we realize you need a quick answer from an experienced resource to provide you with practical guidance. For over 50 years, Western Growers has been that trusted resource that can provide you with timely answers to your questions. With real time guidance, as well as practical insight into an ever demanding supply chain, access for you and your staff to reliable education and answers to your rights, responsibilities, and remedies can be invaluable. Regardless of whether you are an experienced salesperson, or relatively new to the produce industry, an investment of a 3-5 minute call to Western Growers should be routine practice to seek a third party opinion on the ever evolving best practices in our industry.
Below are some basic questions that must be asked when a dispute arises:
- Who took title to the produce and where was the agreed upon contract destination?
- Who was the applicant that ordered the USDA or CFIA inspection?
- What was the location of the inspection (in process of unloading, on/off the trailer, applicant warehouse, including city and State location)?
- What was the ship date?
- What was the arrival date?
- What was the date of inspection?
- How many cartons shipped?
- How many cartons inspected?
- Time and date inspection requested?
- What are pulp temperatures shown on the inspection?
- Verify shipping carton label is what you shipped.
- Review condition defects on inspection separate from permanent or quality defects to calculate contract compliance.
- Does it make good arrival? View good arrival guidelines here
- Review portable temperature recorder and TRU download.
The importance of developing your own internal complaint form is that it establishes a consistent discipline with your sales staff to ensure that the correct questions are asked and documented when there is a contract compliance issue. Assumptions, without documented facts, are never appropriate when making a business decision to adjust a sales contract. The attached Notice of complaint is merely a suggested format and you are encouraged to customize your own company form to make sure you consistently ask and obtain all needed information.
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.