Members often call me to discuss the results of a USDA inspection to determine if it meets contract specifications. Let’s discuss the two types of defects sometimes listed on the inspection. When reading a USDA inspection certificate, the inspector may list two types of defects: quality (or permanent) and condition. Under the terms of a FOB no grade contract, you should only focus on the condition defects, unless the quality defects are in excess of 33 percent. Condition defects affect the merchantability of the product, which determines whether or not your shipment makes good delivery.
What’s the difference?
A quality defect is permanent. Some examples include hollow stem in broccoli, seed stem in lettuce or celery, or misshapen in bell peppers. A quality (or permanent) defect never changes, which means you would have the same amount of permanent defect at shipping point that you would have at destination. In contrast, condition defects progress with age, such as decay, bruising and discoloration of your product.
When reviewing a USDA inspection, if you require clarification on the type of defects listed (quality or condition), please do not hesitate to contact me at 949-885-2269 or email@example.com to discuss.