Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC


  ( Division 20 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 6. Processors of Farm Products [55401 - 55922]

  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

ARTICLE 12. Investigations and Hearings [55741 - 55745]
  ( Article 12 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )


The department, upon its own motion, may, or upon the verified complaint of any interested party and within 30 days of the filing of that complaint, shall, commence to investigate, examine, or inspect any of the following:

(a) A transaction that involves the failure of the processor to make payment for any farm product within the time that is specified for payment in the contract of sale and purchase between the producer and the processor, in accordance with the terms of the contract or in accordance with this chapter.

(b) A transaction that involves the failure of a processor who contracts to harvest a producer’s crop to fulfill the terms of the contract.

(c) A charge that a processor may be insolvent or in an unsound financial condition.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 696, Sec. 34. Effective January 1, 1998.)


Except as otherwise provided in Section 55743 or 55744, if the complaint is a bona fide dispute that involves any of the following, the department has no jurisdiction to act upon the complaint if the processor or complainant within 10 days after receiving notice of the filing of the verified complaint has notified the department of his or her election to submit the dispute to alternative dispute resolution procedures in accordance with the provisions of a written contract:

(a) The rejection of any farm product.

(b) The failure or refusal to accept and pay for any farm product that is bought or contracted to be bought from a producer by a processor.

(c) The failure or refusal by the processor to furnish or provide boxes or other containers, or hauling, harvesting, or any other service that is contracted to be done by the processor in connection with the acceptance, harvesting, or other handling of the farm product.

(d) The terms and conditions of the written contract.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 696, Sec. 35. Effective January 1, 1998.)


The jurisdiction that is otherwise reserved to the department in this chapter, however, is restored for the purposes of this chapter if the authorities responsible for the alternative dispute resolution procedures, without reasonable cause, fail, refuse, or neglect to adjudicate the matter of dispute within 90 days from the date of the notification to the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 696, Sec. 36. Effective January 1, 1998.)


The department also has jurisdiction over any such complaint or dispute if the processor has failed to perform in accordance with any alternative dispute resolution procedure award that is made in accordance with the terms of the written contract.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 696, Sec. 37. Effective January 1, 1998.)


Any verified complaint filed with the department pursuant to this chapter shall be filed not later than nine months from the date a complete account of sales was due. This period, however, does not include the length of time it takes to secure a written letter of denial from the federal agencies responsible for administering the federal Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 181, et seq.) or the federal Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 499a et seq.).

(Added by renumbering Section 55751 by Stats. 1997, Ch. 696, Sec. 45. Effective January 1, 1998.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC12