Produce suppliers are falling victim to scams in both Canada and the U.S., and the Dispute Resolution Corp. issued a warning to the trade to be cautious in early September.

The Ottawa-based Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp. warned that scams have been on the rise.

“As we approach autumn in eastern Canada we are again witnessing the emergence and in some cases re-incarnation of fleece and scam artists,” according to a DRC news release.

“They are destroying the whole market,” said Fred Webber, vice president of the DRC, said Sept. 4.

Webber said the crooks are very sophisticated and will send apparently sound bank and credit references.

There are a number of produce operations in Montreal, Toronto and various locations in the U.S. with connections to Montreal and Toronto who are not members of the DRC nor licensed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the DRC said.

All of the operations appear to be sourcing or attempting to source from produce outside their provinces.

Webber said legitimate operations in Montreal and Toronto are fed up trying to compete with produce brought in by scam artists who never pay their suppliers but dump their produce on the markets.
 
The DRC suggests these precautions:

C Make sure the buyer fills out a credit application and check it thoroughly.

C Be sure the buyer is a member of the Dispute Resolution Council or licensed in Canada by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or licensed by the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act in the U.S. Active DRC members can be found at www.fvdrc.com.

Use precaution selling to new buyers, DRC warns