Continuing with our review of DRC Trading Standards’ articles series, we will now summarize the responsibilities of shippers with growers. Shipper’s responsibilities to their customers depend upon their contracts to sell, consign or joint account produce with dealers on terminal markets. Shippers shall pay promptly for produce purchased and any deficits incurred on consigned shipments. A shipper who fails to perform any express or implied duty may be held liable for any damages resulting therefrom. The shipper shall prepare and maintain records which fully and correctly disclose the details of their transactions in accordance with sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of DRC Trading Standards. These sections have been previously addressed in DRC’s Solutions Blog.
When a shipper enters into a joint account transaction with growers or others, the agreement between the parties should be reduced to a written contract clearly defining the duties and responsibilities of both parties and the extent of the shipper’s authority in distributing the produce. If a shipper is at the same time handling similar produce not involved in the joint account transaction, a lot number or other positive means of identification shall be assigned to each lot of produce received in order to segregate and identify the various lots of produce. If a shipper consigns all or part of the produce or employs the services of intermediaries such as brokers, his records shall show the results of these transactions, including the expenses involved and the names and addresses of these intermediaries. The shipper shall render a detailed and accurate accounting and pay promptly the net proceeds due to the joint partner. The accounting shall disclose the status of all claims collected or filed with the carriers.