Shippers often ask how long do they need to retain records before they can be destroyed? The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Market Enforcement Branch and the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) both require specific record keeping requirements under their respective regulations. 

Bryan Nickerson

Some retail and food service customers may require Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) invoicing and reconciliations of settlements to automate the purchase order process.  EDI is simply a standard electronic format that replaces paper-based documents such as purchase orders or invoices. When invoicing via EDI, it is critical that you have the PACA Trust language on your transmission to preserve PACA Trust protection. 

Bryan Nickerson

Let’s say that a shipper’s produce arrives at contract destination and then the buyer immediately ships out a portion of that load to their customer before requesting a USDA or CFIA inspection. When the federal inspector arrives at the buyer’s facility, they inspect the remaining cartons of produce. How would the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) interpret the results of a USDA inspection secured on less than the entire number of cartons shipped?

Bryan Nickerson

As a shipper, it is prudent to fully understand both your contractual obligations and your rights when handling a potential rejection. A shipment cannot be deemed rejected if it is either:

  1. Unloaded (except for the purpose of inspection); or
  2. Unilaterally diverted during transit

Under PACA law, both such actions constitute acts of acceptance. For proper cause, your buyer may reject a shipment by providing a prompt and proper notification to the shipper. The PACA defines timeliness in rejecting a shipment as:

Bryan Nickerson

Several Western Growers members recently asked me for a checklist of questions to ask when product arrives at contract destination when there has been a federal inspection secured. In other words, can we provide a guidance document to the sales staff to ask the correct questions and determine, with accuracy, liability under the terms of the sales contract.   

The following is a checklist of questions that I require the answers to before an opinion can be rendered for a WG shipper as to whether or not a commodity complies with contract at destination:

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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