Date: Feb 03, 2016

I have been asked on more than one occasion by WG grower/shipper members if I could provide them with a check list of questions to ask when product arrives at contract destination and there has been a USDA or CFIA inspection secured.  In other words, a document to provide a discipline to the sales staff to ask the correct questions, and determine responsibility under the terms of the sales contract.   

The following are questions I always need answered (check list of questions) before rendering a shipper/member an opinion on whether a commodity complies with contract at destination:

  • Who did you sell product to?
  • Who ordered the inspection? 
  • Where was the inspection performed (on/off trailer, applicant warehouse, city, state)
  • What was the ship date?
  • What was the arrival date?
  • What was the date of the inspection?
  • How many cartons shipped?
  • How many cartons inspected?
  • When was the date/time of the inspection request?
  • What were the Pulp temperatures?
  • What was the label on the product inspected? Look for any other coding, ID numbers, or other markings listed on the inspection to help you match the load shipped.
  • Look at defects (separate quality and grade defects)
  • Does it make good arrival?  (Good Arrival Guidelines)
  • Review temperature recording tape or download of TRU (trailer refrigeration unit)

The above are the crucial observations that need to be made, and most can be obtained from the inspection certificate, the bill of lading, and your invoice.  Your customer should provide you with the temperature tapes and TRU downloads.  By asking and getting answering to these questions will help you in making an informed business decision regarding the shipment. (Notice of Complaint Form)

Becoming familiar with the reviewing of USDA inspection certificates or CFIA inspection certificates will be instrumental in determining compliance of your product under the terms of the negotiated sales contract. The point is when reviewing an inspection, remember to focus on the condition defects separate from the quality defects.  Also check all other aspects of the information provided on the inspection; it will give you insight to help determine how a disputed problem can be resolved.

Western Growers regular members can utilize my services to review and help you interrupt your inspections, please email me at TommyO@wga.com with a copy of the USDA or CFIA inspection certificate or call me at (949) 885-2269.

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