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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 6 : Agriculture

Chapter 151 : Supervision, Inspection, and Licensing of Dairy Operations

Subchapter 004 : Unfair Trade Practices

(Cite as: 6 V.S.A. § 2752)
  • § 2752. Refusal to purchase; hearing; Secretary’s order

    (a) A handler doing business in this State who has a contract either verbal or written with a producer residing in this State for the purchase of the producer’s dairy products shall not refuse to purchase them from the producer except for violations of the sanitary rules or standards applicable to the market in which the dairy product is sold or marketed, without being deemed guilty of unfair discrimination. In the event that the refusal is to be based upon reasons of oversupply or other reasonable grounds, the refusal shall not become operative until the purchaser has given the producer at least 90 days’ notice of intention to refuse the producer’s product on these grounds, which shall be particularly set forth in writing so that the producer may be fully appraised of the refusal.

    (b) If the producer desires to question the existence or validity of such grounds of refusal, he or she may do so within 90 days after receiving the notice or refusal by requesting the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for a hearing, and the Secretary is hereby given jurisdiction to hear and determine the question. The producer shall make complaints of such contemplated refusal in writing to the Secretary, setting forth the substance of the refusal notice and requesting to be heard thereon. The Secretary shall then notify both the producer and the purchaser in writing, sent to them by registered mail, of the time and place of hearing thereon. The time of the hearing shall not be less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of the notice. Hearing shall be informal. Both parties shall have an opportunity to produce evidence.

    (c) The decision of the Secretary as to whether or not the grounds relied upon by the purchaser are reasonable in fact shall be final. Either party shall have the right to appeal any question of law to the Superior Court where the producer resides. If the Secretary, or the Superior Court on appeal, does not sustain the action of the purchaser, the purchaser shall be deemed guilty of unfair discrimination.

    (d) If a request for a hearing is made by a purchaser, refusal of the purchaser shall not become operative until hearing and decision in the purchaser’s favor by the Secretary.

    (e) A contract shall exist between the producer and the purchaser when the purchaser receives the producer’s dairy product regularly and pays the producer the going price for the product. (Added 1965, No. 175, § 38; amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 116, eff. July 1, 2022.)