Dear CHC Members,
Over the past several years, we have been working with industry partners to establish a “deemed trust,” which means financial protection for fresh produce growers and sellers at a federal level. Some of you may know of this as PACA (Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act).
As you know, growing, harvesting, packing, and marketing fruits and vegetables comes with a number of risks. Overhead and capital costs continue to rise, while returns are delayed until the product is sold and payment is collected down the supply chain – usually long after the grower or other sellers has passed on their product. Unfortunately, the COVID business environment has only exacerbated the situation, driving businesses into bankruptcy and impacting the entire supply chain.
Although getting paid is not necessarily front of mind while you are in the thick of production, you depend on that payment to manage an operating line of credit. Success depends on being compensated in a timely manner for the products you grow. But what happens when someone along the supply chain goes bankrupt? And what would you do if your wholesaler, broker, or retailer becomes insolvent?
Unfortunately, there is often nothing that can be done when this happens because of the perishability of fresh produce. Sellers are likely to receive pennies on the dollar for the products they invested so much time and energy into producing and getting to market. to get to market.
Because of all this, we have long been advocating on your behalf for a deemed trust. This would ensure that, in the event of a bankruptcy, employees would receive their dues and fresh produce sellers would receive priority based on accounts receivable, cash, and inventory derived from the sales.
Thank you for your time and attention on this urgent matter.