Chat with Karst: Scott Danner on PTI, PACA and more

01/06/2011 05:15:28 PM
Tom Karst

10:18 a.m. Karst: When you were on the USDA fruit and vegetable industry advisory committee, there was talk of a PACA fix to the court decisions regarding post default agreements invalidating PACA trust rights. Will the USDA be able to come out with a proposed rule that address that?

10:18 a.m. Danner: I believe they will. What they are really trying to do is make sure they don’t open the statute up to legislation. That’s the worst thing that could ever happen. If we open this PACA up to legislation, we’re dead. The grocery people hate it, the dairy people hate it, the meat people hate it and they would love to get it to go away. The USDA understands there is a loophole there that was never designed to (disallow) post default agreements. It has just been interpreted that way by the courts. If someone is willing to make good on a debt and the other party who is supposed to receive the money is willing to do it over a longer period of time, what’s the problem with that?

10:20 a.m. Karst: Food safety legislation passed in the lame duck session after being in doubt. Is that a good thing?

10:21 a.m. Danner: It is better than nothing. It didn’t go as far as our industry wanted it to go, but it is better than nothing. Truthfully, I know everybody was hoping they would tie PTI or some sort of traceability to (food safety legislation). It would give us the federal backing we were really hoping for. PTI is still a voluntary initiative, though if you are dealing with the big boy retailers you will have to do it no matter what.

10:22 a.m. Karst: What would be one thing you would like to see for 2011?



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