WENATCHEE, Wash. — A major Washington tree fruit company has agreed to pay the Washington Apple Commission $217,717 in assessments on apple shipments it “inadvertently failed to identify” in the last three crop years.
Borton & Sons Inc., Yakima, a century-old, fourth generation company, agreed to a settlement adopted by the Wenatchee-based commission in a special telephone meeting following a closed meeting on April 22.
The agreement states that for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 crop years, “from Sept. 1, 2011 through Feb. 8, 2014, Borton inadvertently failed to identify activity (e.g., by weight or cartons shipped) for apples that were subject to the commission’s assessment.” It states the parties reviewed documentation of Borton’s apple shipping activities for that time period and agreed to the settlement amount.
The agreement states Borton is making the payment “solely in compromise and settlement of potentially disputed claims” and that “payments are not to be regarded as admissions of liability or fault by anyone.”
The agreement was signed April 23 by Barbara Walkenhauer, chairperson of the commission, and April 25 by John E. Borton, secretary-treasurer of Borton & Sons.
Borton, his attorney and Walkenhauer did not respond to Capital Press voice mails asking why the company failed to identify shipments for assessments. Todd Fryhover, commission president, declined comment.
By state law, the commission collects a mandatory assessment on all fresh apple shipments that supports industry export promotions. The assessment is 3.5 cents per fresh-packed, 40-pound box.