In some cases, the sale or purchase of fresh produce doesn’t go according to plan and results in a dispute. Disputes may arise due to issues related to the quality of the product, its condition upon arrival, or disagreements regarding the fairness of the return or liquidation offered by the buyer. Taking these disputes seriously and working towards a fair and just resolution is essential. As a significant portion of the produce is traded globally, cross-border disputes are common.
When negotiations to reach an agreement fail between parties, the Canada-based Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) is able to support the industry with their dispute resolution services. “Our informal mediation process can become an important tool in arriving at a fair settlement,” says Jaime Bustamante, Director of Trading Assistance with the DRC.
While the organization’s jurisdiction is currently limited to transactions that involve exports from North America or imports into North America, it welcomes companies from all corners of the world to become members. “We are a not-for-profit organization that is open to members in any country. Anyone who grows, buys, sells, brokers, or provides transportation services for produce can become a member,” comments Bustamante.
Increasingly, companies from South America and Europe are joining the organization because of the fresh produce trade that is taking place between North America and these two continents. “More and more, companies on these continents value the benefits of a membership as part of their financial risk mitigation toolbox,” said Bustamante. Members outside North America have successfully used DRC’s dispute resolution services already. “With no extra cost to our services, we have successfully resolved numerous disputes through our informal mediation process, which is mandatory for our members prior to initiating an arbitration process,” shared Bustamante. In other cases, the dispute has reached arbitration, and the parties have complied with the arbitrator’s order or award.
Jaime Bustamante and Luc Mougeot representing DRC at a trade show event.
With the membership from countries in Europe steadily increasing, the DRC will be present at Fruit Attraction in Madrid from October 3-5. Trade shows like this one provide valuable opportunities to engage in meaningful face-to-face conversations while demonstrating the benefits of being a member of the DRC. “We will be raising awareness for our membership services that are available internationally and are looking forward to meeting with people, companies, and governments from all over the world.” The DRC is increasingly participating in international events. “We are present as we would like the international produce industry to know that there are alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that allow for fast and economical resolution of conflicts. In addition, membership also provides others with assurance that a company is following commercial best practices.”
It is the fourth time the organization will be participating and the second time exhibiting at the event. Please visit the DRC booth, which will be shared with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, at Pavilion Hall #8. The booth number is 8A19.