MARKET ENFORCEMENT branch: COMPLAINT PROCESS
A complaint may be filed against licensed dealers, brokers, commission merchants, processors, cash buyers or those who are subject to licensing under the Produce Dealers Act and/or the Processors Law. Complaint forms are available on this site at MEB Forms within the Featured Links Section.
In some instances, depending upon the type of commodity being produced or handled, the complaint must first be filed with one of two agencies within the United States Department of Agriculture. The responsible agency for fresh fruits and vegetables is PACA (Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act). PACA can be reached at 1-800-495-7222. The responsible agency for livestock is P & S (Packers and Stockyards, GIPSA) and can be reached at (303) 375-4240.
If you are a grower of California farm products or a licensee that handles California farm products and have received written notice from PACA or P & S stating that you cannot file a complaint through them, then you are eligible to file the complaint with the Market Enforcement Branch.
All complaints must be in writing and must be submitted within nine (9) months from the date a complete account of sales (payment) was due. You must provide two (2) copies of all documents in your possession that are relevant to establishing the complaint, a filing fee of $100, and a written denial of jurisdiction from the appropriate federal agency.
A Verified Complaint may lead to Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). Also, if the Market Enforcement Branch can prove a violation of the Food and Agricultural Code within our jurisdiction, a formal hearing may be held which could result in disciplinary action against the licensee, company principals and/or agents.