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e-CFR data is current as of September 25, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 900 → Subpart F


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 900—GENERAL REGULATIONS


Subpart F—Procedure Governing Meetings To Arbitrate and Mediate Disputes Relating to Sales of Milk or Its Products


Contents
§900.100   Words in the singular form.
§900.101   Definitions.
§900.102   Filing of applications for mediation or arbitration.
§900.103   Application for mediation.
§900.104   Inquiry by the Administrator.
§900.105   Notification.
§900.106   Assignment of mediator.
§900.107   Meetings.
§900.108   Mediator's report.
§900.109   Mediation agreement.
§900.110   Application for arbitration.
§900.111   Inquiry by the Administrator.
§900.112   Notification.
§900.113   Submission.
§900.114   Designation of arbitrator.
§900.115   Hearing.
§900.116   Award.
§900.117   Approval of award.
§900.118   Costs.

Authority: Sec. 3, 50 Stat. 248; 7 U.S.C. 671.

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§900.100   Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.

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§900.101   Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) The term act means section 3 of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (50 Stat. 248, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 671);

(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture;

(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead;

(d) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department;

(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead;

(f) The term Service means the Agricultural Marketing Service;

(g) The term Division means the Dairy Division of the Service;

(h) The term cooperative means any association, incorporated or otherwise, which is in good faith owned or controlled by producers, or organizations thereof, of milk or its products, and which is bona fide engaged in the collective processing or preparing for market or handling or marketing, in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, of milk or its products;

(i) The term arbitrator means any officer or employee of the Service designated by the Administrator, pursuant to the act, to arbitrate a bona fide dispute with reference to the terms and conditions of the sale of milk or its products between a producer cooperative and purchasers, handlers, processors, or distributors of milk or its products;

(j) The term mediator means any officer or employee of the Service designated by the Administrator, pursuant to the act, to mediate a bona fide dispute with reference to terms and conditions of the sale of milk or its products between a producer cooperative and purchasers, handlers, processors, or distributors of milk or its products;

(k) The term hearing clerk means the hearing clerk, United States Departent of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7797, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972]

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§900.102   Filing of applications for mediation or arbitration.

All applications for mediation or arbitration, all submissions, and all correspondence regarding mediation or arbitration shall be addressed to the Secretary, attention of the Division.

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§900.103   Application for mediation.

An application for mediation by a cooperative, shall be in writing and shall include the following information:

(a) Names in full of the parties to the dispute and their addresses;

(b) Description of the cooperative organization and business, including copies of the articles of incorporation or association, by-laws, and membership contract; information regarding the number of shares of outstanding stock and the approximate portion owned by active producers; a statement of the function performed in connection with the collective processing, preparing, handling, or marketing of milk or its products; and data relative to the distribution of membership by States, the distribution by States of plant facilities for collecting, processing, or disposing of milk or its products, and the business operations for the year last past, including the total quantity of milk and its products handled by the applicant and the proportion of that quantity that was sold in States other than the States of production;

(c) Suggested time and place for meeting between parties and mediator.

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§900.104   Inquiry by the Administrator.

Upon receipt of an application for mediation, the Administrator, through such officers or employees of the Service as he may designate, may make any inquiry which is deemed to be necessary or proper in order to determine whether a bona fide dispute exists.

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§900.105   Notification.

The Administrator, acting on behalf of the Secretary will notify the applicant as to whether he considers that mediation will effectuate the purpose of the act and as to whether he will mediate.

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§900.106   Assignment of mediator.

The Director of the Division shall assign a mediator, from the group designated by the Administrator, to act in such capacity.

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§900.107   Meetings.

All meetings held pursuant to §§900.103 to 900.109 shall be held with and under the direction of the mediator.

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§900.108   Mediator's report.

The mediator, upon the completion of mediation proceedings, shall submit to the Administrator a complete report on such proceedings.

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§900.109   Mediation agreement.

An agreement arrived at by mediation shall not become effective until approved by the Secretary, and the Secretary will not approve an agreement if there is evidence of fraud, if there is a lack of evidence to support the agreement, or if the agreement provides for any unfair trade practice.

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§900.110   Application for arbitration.

An application for arbitration by a cooperative shall be in writing and shall contain the following information:

(a) Names in full of the parties to the dispute and their addresses;

(b) The same information required under §900.103(b);

(c) Concise statement of dispute to be submitted;

(d) Originals or certified copies of all contracts, if any, involved in the dispute, and of correspondence which has passed between the parties and of any other documents or information relied upon;

(e) Dates before which it is desired that the hearing shall be had and the award shall become effective;

(f) Suggested time and place for arbitration hearing.

The applicant shall send a copy of the application to each other party to the dispute.

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§900.111   Inquiry by the Administrator.

Upon receipt of an application for arbitration, the Administrator, through such officers or employees of the Service as he may designate, may make any inquiry deemed to be necessary or proper in order to determine whether a bona fide dispute exists, to assist the parties in reducing the dispute to well-defined issues, and to select an arbitrator who would be satisfactory to all parties.

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§900.112   Notification.

The Administrator, acting on behalf of the Secretary, within a reasonable time after the receipt of an application, will notify the applicant as to whether he will grant the application.

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§900.113   Submission.

(a)(1) Within a reasonable time after the receipt of the Administrator's consent to arbitrate, the parties to the dispute shall file with the Administrator a formal submission, which shall contain the following information:

(i) Names in full of the parties;

(ii) Addresses of the parties to whom all notifications and communications concerning the arbitration shall be sent;

(iii) Description of the organization and businesses of all parties to the dispute, including sufficient information to show that the cooperative is a bona fide one, and that the parties are engaged in activities in the current of interstate or foreign commerce;

(iv) Concise statement of the specific questions submitted and a brief outline of the contentions of each party to the dispute, and a statement as to the period of time during which the award shall be in effect, said period to be not less than thirty days from the effective date of the award;

(v) Name of arbitrator;

(vi) Time and place of arbitration, including street address;

(vii) Stipulation by the parties that they will produce any books, records, and correspondence required by the arbitrator as being necessary to a fair determination of the dispute;

(viii) Agreement by the parties that they will consider the award as final and will comply therewith;

(ix) Stipulation by the parties that arbitration is to take place under rules and regulations issued by the Secretary, and that any such rules and regulations pertaining to mediation and arbitration shall be considered a part of the submission;

(x) Stipulation that a stenographic report of the proceedings must be made.

(2) The submission shall be signed by each party before a notary public, and when the signature is that of an agent of a corporation or cooperative association, the same shall be accompanied by evidence of the authority to sign.

(3) A submission may be withdrawn at any time before the award, and any question held by the arbitrator to be a separable question may be withdrawn before award by agreement of all parties. When any question is so withdrawn, the parties shall file with the arbitrator the agreement on that question reached by the parties, showing all the details thereof, and the arbitrator shall include it in the record of the arbitration.

(b) [Reserved]

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§900.114   Designation of arbitrator.

The Administrator, after receiving the submission, will designate one or more persons to act as arbitrator.

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§900.115   Hearing.

(a) The arbitrator shall have full discretion to conduct the hearing in such manner as will, in his opinion, enable him to ascertain all the facts in the case.

(b) Parties to the dispute may appear in person or by duly accredited agents and may be represented by counsel.

(c) All relevant and material evidence may be presented. The arbitrator shall not be bound by the legal rules of evidence.

(d) The arbitrator, in the presence of the parties, may require the production of books and records for examination by himself, but not for examination of confidential information by other parties to the dispute unless the party producing the same consents to its examination by the other parties to the dispute.

(e) No evidence offered by one party shall be received except in the presence of all parties unless the parties so agree in a submission specifying the nature of the evidence to be received.

(f) Final determination as to what will be considered confidential information shall be made by the arbitrator.

(g) The arbitrator may request the opinions of economists, marketing specialists, statisticians, lawyers, accountants, and other experts.

(h) When more than two arbitrators are designated to hear a dispute, and they disagree, the award of the majority shall be the final award. If the arbitrators are evenly divided, there shall be no award.

(i) A stenographic record of all the proceedings during an arbitration must be made.

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§900.116   Award.

(a) An award shall be made within ten days after the close of the hearing.

(1) The award shall be in writing and shall cover only points of dispute raised in the submission.

(2) The arbitrator, in making the award, may use his own technical knowledge in addition to the evidence submitted by the parties.

(3) The award shall state the period during which it shall be in effect, said period to be not less than thirty days from the effective date thereof; and said period may be extended by agreement among the parties upon notification thereof to the Administrator, unless or until the Administrator withdraws his approval.

(4) The arbitrator shall sign the award in the presence of a notary public, or, when more than one arbitrator is designated the arbitrator shall sign in the presence of each other.

(5) Copies of the award shall be delivered to the parties by the Division.

(b) [Reserved]

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§900.117   Approval of award.

The award shall not become effective until approved by the Secretary, and the Secretary will not approve an award if there is evidence of fraud, or evidence of misconduct upon the part of the arbitrator, or lack of evidence to support the award, or if the award provides for any unfair trade practice.

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§900.118   Costs.

The parties jointly shall pay for the stenographic record. A copy of the record shall be furnished by the parties to the arbitrator and shall be forwarded by him to the Administrator, ultimately to be filed in the office of the hearing clerk. The arbitrator shall not receive compensation for parties to the dispute.

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