I guess I will start off with my almond grower story and hope other beekeepers will see a benefit in sharing their stories with the names of any relevant growers. If a good list is formed over time it could be a useful tool to beekeepers and brokers alike. It is unlikely that many beekeepers would list great experiences any more than their favorite fishing hole, but a list of red flags could put pressure on growers to fulfill their contract obligations. Likewise, a list of red flagged beekeepers would be handy but it would be incumbent upon the growers to generate their own list. It is my hope that other beekeepers will seriously consider the utility of such a list and participate in this forum. The usefulness of this forum will be directly correlated to participation.
Mixed review -
Our almond contract stipulated that 1/2 the payment would be at delivery and the other half in May. In retrospect, May was too broad of a term for the second payment. June came around and no money and no explanation. I called several times and no reply. Eventually, I got a call from Louie Soares saying that he had to discuss it with his dad before returning my call but the check would be in the mail the following week. The check didn't arrive so I left more messages. At this point I began to worry a little but in reality being two weeks into June was not a horrible infraction except for the fact that I made purchases based on a timely payment. Having vendors in need of payment placed me in a bad light so I pleaded for payment. The check finally came and then promptly bounced. I have to say I was really surprised. Louie seemed like a really nice guy - made the first payment on time and even paid more than 1/2 upon delivery. The guy even got up early with a borrowed fork lift and helped me load the bees. Putting the fact aside that Louie was great to work with, payment is the bread and butter of any business and a bounced check, weeks late, and without communication makes for a strained relationship. A phone call stating that they are low on funds and it will be X number of days or weeks before payment would have helped.
We finally got a check plus our overdraft fees by the end of the month. So all-in-all things could have been better but they could have also been much worse.