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Withholding payment of an undisputed amount: Tips for Better Business Practices

The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) has noticed that, from time to time, a buyer may choose to withhold payment of the undisputed amount when a disagreement on a transaction occurs.

It is not uncommon to see this practice in our industry especially when the parties disagree on a return after the product has failed to meet contract terms and the load has been handled to minimize the loss. It also happens when there is more than one transaction between the parties, one of the invoices is in a dispute, and the other invoices are not paid until the disputed invoiced is resolved.

Here’s what the DRC recommends to buyers and sellers in this situation:

As per the DRC Trading Standards, all members must fulfill their financial obligations by paying their invoices within the agreed payment terms or follow DRC Trading Standards when no payment terms have been agreed. Undisputed invoices cannot be withheld unless the buyer and seller agree otherwise.

In regards to payment of undisputed amounts, the DRC Trading Standards Section 19 subsection 10 states:

“(11) … If there is a dispute concerning a transaction, the foregoing time periods [paragraphs (1) through (10)] for prompt payment apply only to payment of the undisputed amount.”

Paying the undisputed amount is a good business practice and can help you have better customer relationships. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. The disputed amount may become significantly less.
  2. The smaller the amount of a dispute, the easier it is to negotiate a settlement.
  3. Helps avoid situations where the supplier feels like they are being held for ransom. When buyers withhold money that do not belong to them, suppliers may become more reluctant to negotiate a settlement.
  4. Paying the undisputed amount can alleviate financial strain on the seller.
  5. The buyer’s reputation avoids being tarnished in the market.
  6. In the event a dispute reaches an arbitration process, and the arbitrator awards interest, the losing party will pay less interest.

If you want to learn more about payment terms and practices, feel free to contact DRC’s Trading Assistance staff through our Help Desk.

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CFIA’s Pause on FFV Grade Standards Sparks Concern

The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC)-led initiative to amend the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) Compendium 2, Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables Grades and Requirements has stalled. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) implemented a pause to the phased updates to individual fresh fruit and vegetable (FFV) grades.

Fresh Produce Alliance (FPA) organizations consisting of the DRC, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, and the Fruit & Vegetable Growers of Canada were recently advised by CFIA that it will continue to review its priorities and allocate resources to the highest-risk areas.

The CFIA has informed the FPA of their intention to pause work to develop a more efficient model for grades that will facilitate trade, support economic growth, and align with the CFIA’s mandate. They further indicated that they are redirecting resources to prioritize and complete this engagement in a timely manner. The CFIA will continue to engage with the FPA to better understand the role that grade standards play in the marketplace, including the role and value of the standards.

The FPA points out that the pause to phased updates will delay the completion of the grade standards, which are required for Canada to remain competitive and provide Canadians with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.

The horticultural industry is particularly eager for the proposed changes to be implemented as the pause raises concerns with quickly approaching Test Market Authorizations (TMA) that will expire soon. For instance, a TMA for nectarines is set to expire on July 5, 2024.

While the new stand-alone grade standard for nectarines would address elements of the TMA, an extension may not be possible, and the proposed new standard may not be implemented by July as a result of the pause.

The DRC looks forward to providing further updates and discussion on grade standards at the upcoming FVGC AGM to be held in Ottawa from March 4-7, 2024.

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For more information, contact: 

Nicole MacDonald
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation 
Email: [email protected]
Ph: +1-613-234-0982

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Membership Update – January 2024

Welcome new members!

We are pleased to welcome the following 16 new members during the month of January:

15137586 CANADA INC.,  QC, Canada
9481-1676 QUEBEC INC., QC, Canada
ABDELHAFID BETTA, ON, Canada
ALICE FOODS INC., ON, Canada
ALIMENTS KURAS / KURAS FOODS (A d/b/a of 122011 Canada Ltée), QC, Canada
CH DISTRIBUTION INC., ON, Canada
EGYPTIAN CANADIAN PHOENIX LTD., ON, Canada
GRUPO ARJORAN SA DE CV, Michoacán, Mexico
HEALTHY FRESH LLC., AZ, United States
HG PRODUCE LTD., BC, Canada
MOBCHER CANADA (A d/b/a of 9397-6439 Quebec Inc.), QC, Canada
PURE FLAVOR FARMS LP, ON, Canada
ROYAL TRADE INC, ON, Canada
VANSHI FOODS LTD., BC, Canada
YUZUKI JAPANESE RESTAURANT / YUZUKI FISH MARKET, ON, Canada
ZEUS PRODUCE INC., ON, Canada

To view a complete list of active members, click here.

DRC Membership: change in status

As of January 31st, 2024, the following organizations no longer hold a DRC membership:

AGROFRESH EXPORT CONSORTIUM SL, Valencia, Spain
BELLI FOODS / BELLI DISTRIBUTION (A d/b/a of 9194-3340 Quebec Inc.), QC, Canada
BLEUETS MISTASSINI LTEE, QC, Canada
DELTA FRESH SALES LLC (Also d/b/a Delta Fresh), AZ United States
DUNCAN FAMILY FARMS, LLC., AZ, United States
ECORIPE TROPICALS, INC., FL, United States
ITAL-PLUS JUICE GRAPE LTD., ON, Canada
LES ALIMENTS KIM PHAT (JARRY), QC, Canada
LLERO’S TRADING LTD., ON, Canada
LOTUS TRADE INC. / COMMERCE TRADE INC., QC, Canada
MOONSHINE MAMA’S KITCHENS LTD. (Also d/b/a Moonshine Mama’s), BC, Canada
NATURE DELIGHT INC., BC, Canada
NAVARRO PROEXPORT S.L., Valencia, Spain
OHMEX PRODUCE, ON, Canada
PULPAAMERICA (Faisant également affaire sous 9338-4097 Québec Inc.), QC, Canada
PURE HOTHOUSE FOODS INC. (Affiliated with Pure Flavor Farms LP), ON, Canada
R U P LANKA LTD. (Also d/b/a RUP), ON, Canada
SHAAN TRUCK LINES (A d/b/a of 2350936 Ontario Inc.), ON, Canada
SUN MARK FOODS LTD., ON, Canada
VIVA FRUTA PRODUCTORES S.L., Cadiz, Spain
WHYTE’S FOODS INC. / LES ALIMENTS WHYTE’S INC., QC, Canada
WINDSOR DISTRIBUTING, INC., FL, United States

To view a complete list of inactive members, click here.

Important note: Following membership termination, the former member remains liable for claims arising prior to their termination if the claim is submitted to the DRC by way of a Notice of Dispute within nine months from when the claim arose or within nine months from when the claimant ought reasonably to have known of its existence.

About the DRC

The DRC is a non-profit membership-based organization whose core work is business-to-business commercial dispute resolution for produce. The DRC is a referee between parties when a purchase and sale do not go according to plan. Members adhere to a common set of trading standards and member responsibilities that promote fair and ethical trading for produce entering the North American marketplace. In Canada, membership in the DRC is a regulatory requirement to trade fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e., buy, sell, import, export) unless accepted by the regulations. Today, the DRC has members in 16 countries outside of North America, and membership continues to grow annually. Anyone exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to Canada must sell to a DRC member.

In addition to the DRC’s Operating Rules and Trading Standards, the DRC offers a comprehensive, tailored suite of tools to build the knowledge and capacity of members to avoid or resolve disputes. The DRC provides education, mediation and arbitration services along with the ability to impose sanctions and disciplinary actions towards members who do not conduct business in accordance with the terms of their membership agreement.

To date, the DRC has resolved claims in excess of $105 million dollars. Although arbitration is available, 80% of these claims have been settled in an average of 26 days through our informal consultation/mediation services. Arbitration awards are court-enforceable in countries that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards or subsequent conventions.

For more information about memberships, click here or contact our Helpdesk.

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Meet DRC at Fruit Logistica 2024

If you plan to attend Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Germany, make sure to meet with team members from the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) from February 7-9, 2024. We’ll be happy to discuss our full range of member benefits and services and answer any questions you may have.

As a not-for-profit commercial dispute resolution body, DRC provides harmonized trading standards, education, mediation and arbitration procedures and services to the fresh produce trade. Our goal is to help you avoid and resolve commercial disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

If you’re exporting to Canada, keep in mind that Canada’s Safe Food for Canadians Regulations include key trade and commerce requirements for buyers and sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables. Anyone who grows, buys, sells, brokers, or provides transportation services for fresh produce should be a DRC member to reduce financial risk and improve profitability.

Our booth will be in the Canada Pavilion at Hall 23, #A-32. Say hello; we’d be delighted to provide more information about our services. If you know any trade partners who are not members of DRC yet, please encourage them to stop by our booth to discuss the membership benefits. We are excited to meet them and see you there.

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More information about the DRC is available at www.fvdrc.com. If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to speak to a DRC representative, click here. We look forward to speaking with you.

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Will a thumbs-up emoji lead to a contract?

Sometimes. A Saskatchewan court explains when.

By: Anna Katyk*

In South West Terminal Ltd. v Achter Land, 2023 SKKB 116 (“South West”), the judge decided that a thumbs-up emoji sent in a text message could mean agreeing to a contract. This happened in a dispute between South West Terminal Ltd. (the “buyer/ South West”) and Achter Land (the “seller/ Achter”), who had done business together for a while, usually contracting in person, through email or by text.

Specifically, the court interpreted the seller’s thumbs-up emoji as accepting the buyer’s offer, despite the seller believing it was merely acknowledging receiving the offer. The court agreed with the buyer, South West, that the emoji meant acceptance and a contract was formed.

This case is instructive for those who use text messaging and other convenient means of communication to do business. It’s a warning that courts can take seriously those who communicate using emojis or short texts.

There were multiple issues before the court, two of which are discussed in this case comment: did the parties intend to form a contract, and was the contract in writing and signed by both parties even though the acceptance was an emoji.

South West and Achter had a longstanding business relationship. They previously contracted approximately 20 times, usually in person but sometimes through email or text messages.

The pandemic swooped in, and the parties stopped meeting in person and began contracting exclusively through email and text.

Four of the contracts between the parties before the disputed contract were concluded through text message, each time with Achter responding from the same cell phone number. This was important.

The first contract concluded through text was when the parties discussed terms by phone, and then South West drafted a paper contract, signed it, took a picture of it, and texted it to Achter with a message that read, “Please confirm terms of durum contract.” Achter texted back, “Looks good”. Achter performed the contract, delivering durum wheat to South West.

The parties concluded three more contracts through text with very similar circumstances. In all three instances, the parties spoke on the phone, South West drafted a contract, signed it and texted a picture to Achter, asking Achter to “please confirm terms of durum contract.” Achter texted back, “Ok”, “Yup,” and “Ok”, respectively. Achter performed all three contracts by delivering durum wheat to South West and never contested these contracts.

The dispute arose from the fifth time the parties texted about a contract.

This time, the parties discussed a flax contract by phone, after which South West drafted the contract, signed it and texted a picture of it to Achter with the message “Please confirm flax contract”. Achter texted back a thumbs-up emoji.

But this time, Achter did not deliver.

Achter took the position that no contract was formed because the thumbs-up was not an acceptance but a mere acknowledgement of receiving South West’s offer.

Achter differentiated between this instance and the previous contracts by pointing to the fact that the grain had not yet been produced, and when dealing with not-yet-produced grain, Achter wouldn’t sign contracts without an Act of God clause. It was unclear from the picture of the contract whether South West included such a clause, and thus Achter was expecting a complete copy of the contract from South West by email or fax before accepting. Achter also argued that because an Act of God clause was essential, the parties had not agreed on all essential terms and could not have formed a contract.

Having regard to the thumbs-up emoji’s common usage, the court deemed the thumbs-up emoji an acceptance. This was because an objective reasonable bystander with all the facts would have concluded that Achter’s emoji was not an acknowledgement of receipt but an acceptance of South West’s offer, much like the previous responses of “Looks good,” “Yup” and “Ok”.

With respect to the certainty of terms, the court was satisfied that the part of the contract South West showed Achter disclosed the substance of the parties’ agreement. The court found that because Achter never informed South West that it would not accept an offer without an Act of God clause, South West was not expected to know this, and the Act of God clause couldn’t have been an essential term without which the contract couldn’t be formed.

A contract was, thus, formed through an emoji.

What does this case tell us?

It revisits some of the longstanding common-law principles. Courts are not restricted to the four corners of the contract and may consider surrounding circumstances, also known as the factual matrix, to determine whether parties intended to form the contract.

A long standing business relationship forms part of the factual matrix.

If a term is essential, this best be communicated to the other party; otherwise, there is a risk the court may not deem it an essential term of the contract.

While Achter’s four previous text message acceptances were curt, they were not emojis. This did not, however, stop the court from finding Achter’s intention to be bound by the thumbs-up emoji it sent to South West in response to the picture of the flax contract.

Will a thumbs-up emoji necessarily form a contract? No, it won’t. Not without a set of circumstances that would lead an objective reasonable bystander to conclude that the thumbs-up emoji is an acceptance. Will it form a contract with enough of the factual matrix lining up to support formation? Maybe.

And it’s not just an emoji that could have led to this outcome. This dispute could have arisen with an “okay”, “alright”, “sounds good”, “great, thanks,” alike. All are equally vague when taken in the abstract, but all are sufficient for acceptance under the right factual matrix.

What’s more, the court deemed the emoji to satisfy not only the in-writing requirement but also the signature requirement. It came from Achter’s phone number and was as good as a signature because it was enough to identify Achter.

Ontario’s Sale of Goods Act (SGA) does not have the same in-writing and signature requirements as the Saskatchewan Sale of Goods Act. In fact, Ontario’s SGA expressly permits oral contracts.

What Ontario does have is the Statute of Frauds. While it only applies to certain contracts, like contracts for the sale of real property, it requires that these contracts be in writing and signed by both parties. The Electronic Commerce Act clarifies that the in-writing and signature requirements are met through email but does not expressly address text messages. Applying the same analysis to a sale of real property, two parties could conclude an agreement of purchase and sale through text message. Perhaps even through an emoji, although the author would caution against it.

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* Anna Katyk practices commercial litigation and arbitration with a focus on sales law. She can be reached at [email protected].

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to speak to a DRC representative, click here. We look forward to speaking with you.

 

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Breaking Barriers: Resolving Disputes with Non-Members

It is of utmost importance to know that in order to have direct access to DRC’s Dispute Resolution System, companies need to be members of the DRC before any dispute arises. This means that if a dispute arises between two DRC members, they are obligated to use DRC’s Dispute Resolution System to resolve the issue unless they mutually agree otherwise.

What about disputes between a DRC member and a non-member?

According to Article 3 of DRC’s Dispute Resolution Rules, these rules apply to any dispute, controversy or claim between a member and one or more non-members where the parties agree in writing to submit their dispute to DRC.

One option is for the two parties to voluntarily sign an arbitration agreement. In addition, one of these two steps must occur; the non-member can either join DRC (application + Membership fee) or pay a flat non-member access fee.

Once the arbitration agreement is signed and one of the two steps is completed by the non-member, DRC’s dispute resolution process can proceed as normal.

Another option is to include a DRC arbitration clause in a contract. An arbitration clause is commonly used in written contracts and requires the parties to resolve any disputes arising out of the contract through DRC’s arbitration process. A DRC arbitration clause allows the parties to resolve a dispute outside of the courts in a more timely and cost-effective manner. If the losing party fails to comply with the arbitrator’s decision and award, the award can be enforced in the appropriate court of law.

DRC recommends inserting the following arbitration clause into their contracts:

“Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be submitted to and finally settled by arbitration administered by the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation in accordance with its published rules and procedures. Judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.”

Important things to consider when using a DRC arbitration clause in a contract:

  1. At least one of the parties needs to be a DRC member.
  2. If the non-member decides they don’t want to join DRC or pay the non-member access fee, the member can pay the non-member access fee.
  3. If there is a dispute over the validity of the contract, in order to enforce the arbitration clause, the parties would need to go to court first to have a judge decide if the contract is valid.

If you have a signed contract, which includes the DRC Arbitration clause and find yourself in a dispute, contact our office. We will guide you through the next steps to initiate the DRC’s Dispute Resolution process.

To avoid complications of having the DRC involved in a dispute, we encourage companies and their commercial partners to join the DRC prior to beginning a business relationship. If your customer becomes a member, both of you will be automatically protected in a contract dispute.

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to speak to a DRC representative, click here. We look forward to speaking with you. 

 

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Membership Update – December 2023

Welcome new members!

We are pleased to announce that between December 1st and 31st, 2023, the DRC welcomed the following 13 new members:

15293707 CANADA INC. | AB, Canada
ALMOCAN MÉDITERRANÉEN INC. | QC, Canada
BILL’S FRUIT MARKET INC. | ON, Canada
COMMERCE DRIM INC. | QC Canada
FRUTELLA FOR FOOD INDUSTRY S.A.E. | Giza, Egypt
GLOBAL BIO INC. | QC, Canada
IMPORTATION AVOCAN INC. (Faisant également affaire sous Avocan) | QC, Canada
INDIAN DELIBITES INC. | ON, Canada
KARIM SAGHI | QC, Canada
ONLY THE REALEST SERVICES INC. | ON, Canada
RENNIE BROS INC. | PE, Canada
TRANSPORT JUSTINT IMPORT-EXPORT INC. | QC, Canada
YOUDESSE ALIMENTS (Faisant également affaire sous 9300-3580 Québec Inc.) | QC, Canada

To view a complete list of active members, click here.

DRC Membership: change in status

As of December 31, 2023, the following organizations no longer hold a DRC membership:

AMCO PRODUCE INC. | ON, Canada
J. F. PRODUCE INC. | ON,  Canada
LAKESIDE PRODUCE INC. | ON, Canada
NATURIPE FARMS IMPORTS INC. | FL, United States
SOCIEDAD AGRICOLA SATURNO S.A. | Lima, Peru
VISION IMPORT GROUP, LLC | NJ, United States

To view a complete list of active members, click here.

Important note: Following membership termination, the former member remains liable for claims arising prior to their termination if the claim is submitted to the DRC by way of a Notice of Dispute within nine months from when the claim arose or within nine months from when the claimant ought reasonably to have known of its existence.

About the DRC

The DRC is a non-profit membership-based organization whose core work is business-to-business commercial dispute resolution for produce. The DRC is a referee between parties when a purchase and sale do not go according to plan. Members adhere to a common set of trading standards and member responsibilities that promote fair and ethical trading for produce entering the North American marketplace. In Canada, membership in the DRC is a regulatory requirement to trade fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e., buy, sell, import, export) unless accepted by the regulations. Today, the DRC has members in 16 countries outside of North America, and membership continues to grow annually. Anyone exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to Canada must sell to a DRC member.

In addition to the DRC’s Operating Rules and Trading Standards, the DRC offers a comprehensive, tailored suite of tools to build the knowledge and capacity of members to avoid or resolve disputes. The DRC provides education, mediation and arbitration services along with the ability to impose sanctions and disciplinary actions towards members who do not conduct business in accordance with the terms of their membership agreement.

To date, the DRC has resolved claims in excess of $105 million dollars. Although arbitration is available, 80% of these claims have been settled in an average of 26 days through our informal consultation/mediation services. Arbitration awards are court-enforceable in countries that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards or subsequent conventions.

For more information about memberships, click here or contact our Helpdesk.

 

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Stay Connected with the DRC on Social Media!

Did you know the DRC actively engages with the fresh fruit and vegetable industry on three social media platforms? We have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and X (Twitter), and we have been increasing our outreach to share industry news, upcoming events, and access to insightful articles.

We strive to keep the industry informed and educated through press releases, reports on grade standards, updates to import and export regulations, case studies, B2B best practice tips, member updates, and so much more. We’ve found that social media is an excellent resource for connecting with a larger audience that goes beyond borders. The DRC appreciates the opportunity to engage with industry members and share insightful information while building relationships.

If you have not already, join us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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For media inquiries, please contact: 

Nicole MacDonald
Communications & Marketing Specialist
Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation
Telephone: 613-234-0982
Email: [email protected]

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Using a truck or trailer as warehousing? Learn the key responsibilities of carriers and receivers.

Occasionally, we receive inquiries regarding the responsibility of cargo when a carrier drops the trailer in a receiver’s yard for later unloading. There may be several reasons for the drop, which should be understood and agreed to by both parties and documented if timelines exceed those set out in the DRC Transportation Standards, ARRIVAL AT DESTINATION, Section 9.3.f.

“… The truck is not to be used as a warehouse except by consent of the carrier and then only upon payment of warehousing charges as agreed to. Under the terms of the Corporation’s Trading Standards, the buyer’s responsibility to the seller requires that the buyer accept the produce within a reasonable time (8 hours after tender of delivery for trucks…”

Sometimes, when there are a lot of trailers to be unloaded or when the trailer arrives outside of business hours, buyers and receivers can come to an agreement with the carrier to leave the trailer at the receiver’s yard to be unloaded later.

It is important that carriers and receivers have a written agreement when they decide to leave a trailer at the receiver’s yard. This agreement should clarify the responsibilities of each party during the period when the trailer is left at the yard, including who is accountable for checking the trailer’s reefer unit to ensure it is working properly. A written agreement can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are aware of their obligations.

If no agreement is met between the parties regarding when the responsibility for cargo is transferred over from the carrier to the buyer, DRC members should be aware of DRC’s Transportation Standards such as:

  • Section 9.1. would set the tender of delivery: …“Tender of delivery” is said to have occurred when the carrier arrives at the receiver’s location at a reasonable or instructed hour to be unloaded and, when necessary, the carrier gives the receiver notice of the arrival. When the receiver is advised of arrival and instructs the operator to hold the load at a place commonly used for carriers whose unloading may be temporarily delayed, tender has taken place. The buyer’s timely complaints to the shipper and the computation of allowable unloading time are related to when “tender of delivery” has occurred.”
  • Section 9.2. provides for the receiver’s right of inspection: “Upon tender of delivery, the receiver has a right of inspection of the load. This right cannot properly be denied nor abridged by the carrier. Inspection is not conditional upon the prior payment of the freight charges.
    Should the receiver or carrier deem it advisable to secure an official inspection of the load, the cost of inspection is to be borne by whoever orders inspection. The inspector should be asked to note the pulp temperatures of the commodity inspected.”
  • Section 9.3. provides for unloading: “The normal transportation contract does not provide for the unloading of the truck. Lacking a specific agreement, it is the receiver’s responsibility to unload the conveyance. Unloading services are negotiable and the parties to the transportation contract can make alternative arrangements. The most common arrangement is with contractors commonly referred to as “lumpers”. A lumper is an entity that provides the physical loading and unloading of shipments at origin and destination with the use of people and equipment. The loading is from the facility of the consignor into the carrier equipment transporting the shipment from consignor’s premises and the unloading is from the carrier’s equipment into the receiving facility for a shipment at destination. Usually, a lumper is an independent contractor from the consignor or consignee or carrier.”.

Finally, if the truck or trailer is intended to be used as a temporary storage facility to hold the product and the parties disagree on a price per day for warehousing services, DRC Transportation Standards – Appendix VI can be used as a guideline to determine the charges.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Nicole MacDonald
Communications & Marketing Specialist
Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation
Telephone: 613-234-0982
Email: [email protected]

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The DRC welcomes 14 new members in November 2023!

Welcome new members!

We are pleased to announce that between November 1st and 30th, 2023, the DRC welcomed a total of 14 new members:

15275474 CANADA INC. | ON, Canada
9481-8697 QUEBEC INC. | QC, Canada
ADEF IMPORT EXPORT (Faisant également affaire sous 9431-1289 Quebec Inc.) | QC, Canada
BY SOLUTIONS S.E.N.C. (Faisant également affaire sous By Solutions) | QC, Canada
CENTRAL FOODS AND TRADING COMPANY LIMITED | ON, Canada
ELIAS DAHER (Faisant également affaire sous Era Fruits et Legumes) | QC, Canada
FRUITS ET LEGUMES VEGIBO INC. | QC, Canada
HOFUD TRADING LTD. | ON, Canada
IEL CANADA BROKERAGE ULC (Also d/b/a Integrity Express Logistics) | ON, Canada
LES PRODUCTIONS HORTICOLES DEMERS INC. (Faisant également affaire sous Demers) | QC, Canada
PGF ORGANICS LIMITED | MB, Canada
THE INTERNATIONAL COMPANY FOR PACKING AND REFRIGERATION | El Beheira, Egypt
USINE DE CONGÉLATION DE ST-BRUNO INC. | QC, Canada
WINLAND FOODS CANADA INC. | ON, Canada

To view a complete list of active members, click here

DRC Membership Change in Status Update

As of November 30th, 2023, the following organizations no longer hold a DRC membership:

9964894 CANADA INC. | QC, Canada
AVOCAST S.P.R. DE R.L. | Nayarit, Mexico
BC PROSPERA PRODUCE LTD. | BC, Canada
COVIC INTERNATIONAL TRADING INC. | BC, Canada
CPS FRUITS & VEGETABLES INC. | QC, Canada
FRESH & CLASSY PRODUCTS INC. | ON, Canada
FRESHPACK EXPORT SALES LTD. | BC, Canada
LES FRUITS BLEUS INC. | QC, Canada
LONGFE INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMPANY OF CANADA LIMITED | ON, Canada
M. & M. PRE-PAK SALES LTD. | NL, Canada
QUALICIOUS FOODS INC. | BC, Canada
SUNNYVILLE IMPORT LLC. | NY,  United States
TRIDGE TRADE CANADA INC. | BC, Canada

To view a complete list of inactive members, click here

Important note: Following membership termination, the former member remains liable for claims arising prior to their termination if the claim is submitted to the DRC by way of a Notice of Dispute within nine months from when the claim arose or within nine months from when the claimant ought reasonably to have known of its existence.

About the DRC

The DRC is a non-profit membership-based organization whose core work is business-to-business commercial dispute resolution for produce. The DRC is a referee between parties when a purchase and sale do not go according to plan. Members adhere to a common set of trading standards and member responsibilities that promote fair and ethical trading for produce entering the North American marketplace. In Canada, membership in the DRC is a regulatory requirement to trade fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e., buy, sell, import, export) unless accepted by the regulations. Today, the DRC has members in 16 countries outside of North America, and membership continues to grow annually. Anyone exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to Canada must sell to a DRC member.

In addition to the DRC’s Operating Rules and Trading Standards, the DRC offers a comprehensive, tailored suite of tools to build the knowledge and capacity of members to avoid or resolve disputes. The DRC provides education, mediation and arbitration services along with the ability to impose sanctions and disciplinary actions towards members who do not conduct business in accordance with the terms of their membership agreement.

To date, the DRC has resolved claims in excess of $105 million dollars. Although arbitration is available, 80% of these claims have been settled in an average of 26 days through our informal consultation/mediation services. Arbitration awards are court-enforceable in countries that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards or subsequent conventions.

For more information about memberships, click here or contact our Helpdesk.

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