Customer and Deduction Policy


Our Customer Service team is available to answer any questions you may have. During a normal business week, our Customer Service Representatives are available 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday. In addition, all of our customer service representatives have voicemail and may also be reached by e-mail.  There is also an exclusive email address for Customer Service at Customer_Service_Team@johnsonville.com.


There may be exceptions to this schedule during company functions and holidays. Any change to the normal schedule is communicated to our Sales team as well as our third-party logistics providers.


In the event you cannot reach our Customer Service Representatives, or it is outside standard business hours, please contact your sales representative or broker for any and all questions or needs that you may have for an immediate answer or solution.


Order Requirements


All sales orders submitted are subject to standard Johnsonville Terms and Conditions. Copies of Johnsonville’s food guarantee/indemnity can be provided upon request.


To ensure that the service we provide is as smooth and convenient as possible, we ask that when you place your order, please refer to the following guidelines.


Minimum Order Size


The minimum order size is 2,000 pounds. Multiple orders for the same customer ship to that require different appointment slots will need to be at least 2,000 pounds each. If multiple orders for the same customer ship-to can be received under the same appointment, all can be considered together as counting toward this minimum.


If your order does not meet the minimum size, you will be provided the below options:


  • Increase your order size to meet the minimum,
  • Order biweekly, or
  • Delay placing your order until your need meets the minimum.


Placing Your Order


Johnsonville will accept orders from customers and brokers via electronic data interchange (EDI). All orders must contain the Johnsonville Universal Product Code (UPC) case code and the expected pricing.


If you have an order for one shipping date which includes both frozen and refrigerated unfrozen products, please place the frozen and refrigerated products on separate purchase orders (POs). This will help ensure that each product is maintained separately at its own proper temperature while being processed.


Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the preferred method of transmitting and receiving orders, because we have found it to be the most efficient method for both our customers and Johnsonville.


Customers and brokers who wish to participate via EDI must establish contact with the EDI manager to coordinate initial setup and testing.


Our EDI system uses a standard Uniform Communication Standard (UCS) or American Nation Standard Institute (ANSI) format. It is critical that your order transmission reflect the expected prices for each variety of product ordered.


We encourage all customers to be EDI-compliant with all transmissions, especially with the following transactions:


  • 855 – Order Placement
  • 810/880 – Invoice
  • 820 – Payment (EFT)

Required Information for Placing Your Order


Please be sure to include the following information when placing your order:


  • Your customer “ship to” address
  • Your customer purchase order (PO) number
  • Requested delivery or pick-up date
  • 12 digit case UPC number for the product being ordered
  • Product description
  • Quantity ordered
  • Expected case price for each item (including promotional discount information or any other associated allowances)
  • Special instructions (for example, “Ship with other PO #XXXX”)
  • Total quantity and weight ordered
  • Terms

Confirming Receipt of Your Order


The method used to confirm receipt of your order depends on how you transmitted it.


Customers and brokers who place orders via EDI will receive a functional acknowledgement EDI transmission. We send this acknowledgement on the next pick-up cycle from the electronic mailbox.


IMPORTANT: If you do not receive an EDI functional acknowledgement confirming receipt of your order within 24 hours, please notify the EDI coordinator immediately.


Please contact the EDI coordinator if you have any questions about our EDI policy.


Customers, brokers, and sales representatives who place orders using methods other than EDI will have the option of receiving an order confirmation by e-mail. These confirmations will include the order processing number, PO number, number of cases, weight, and pricing for verification.


Customers and brokers will also receive purchase order acknowledgement via EDI (855 transmission) that will include all information contained in the Johnsonville order entry system. The customer and broker are responsible for verifying prices on the order acknowledgment.

Required Lead Time for Orders


To allow the standard lead time and ensure timely delivery, please be sure to place your order before the end of the business day (not including Saturdays or Sundays) listed on the sailing schedule that applies to you. Please contact your Johnsonville sales representative or the Johnsonville Customer Service team for your specific sailing schedule.


Longer lead times may apply for customers requesting product that is made-to-order, customized, customer branded, or for our international customers. These individual order placement schedules will be provided to our customers prior to placing a first order for these products.


Late Orders or Order Changes


Again, we request that you allow the standard lead time for your orders to ensure your product is delivered to you as you need it, when you need it. However, if this is not possible due to circumstances beyond your control and you must place a late order or order change, we will make every effort to accommodate it if possible.


We will investigate the following options before we notify you whether we can accept the late order or change:


  1. If the order or change is less than a full truckload, our Customer Service team will contact our Transportation team to determine whether there is room for your order on existing trucks without incurring additional expense. We will also verify that the order has not been committed at our 3rd Party Warehouse.


If there is no room on an existing truck, the customer will be contacted to determine whether the order needs to be shipped or can be moved to the next regularly scheduled shipment day (please refer to sailing schedule).


–     Once the customer has been contacted, he or she will need to respond back to our Customer Service team based on deadline provided for that situation.

–     If no response is received within that timeframe, the order will be moved to the next regularly scheduled shipment day for that delivery area. The customer and Johnsonville sales rep will both be notified if this is needed to occur.


  1. If the order is a full truckload order, we will contact our Transportation team to determine whether a truck can be secured and delivery can occur by the required delivery date.


  1. If we can accommodate the late add on, a new PO will be required.


If we are unable to secure transportation for the originally requested delivery date, we will work to accommodate the first available delivery for which we can secure transportation before moving order to the next normal sailing date.


Full Layers/Full Pallets


We ask that all customers order in quantities of product such that they occupy full pallets, if at all possible, or at least full layers of a pallet. Please reach out to Sales or your Customer Service Representative for verification on layer/pallet configurations.


Customers who do not order in quantities sufficient to occupy full layers will be asked to update quantity to nearest full layer quantity.


Back Orders


Every effort is made to fill orders at 100 percent of the quantity requested. In the case where the full amount of product is not available to be shipped on a customer order, our Customer Service team will contact your Johnsonville Sales representative and broker/buyer the day before your order is scheduled to ship. Because a customer’s need may change by the time additional product becomes available, Johnsonville does not do automatic back orders. Shorted quantities will need to be placed on a new PO number or added to an existing PO.


Johnsonville’s Customer Pick-Up Program


As an alternative to delivery, Johnsonville offers a customer pick-up program.  To participate in this program, Customers must agree to the following guidelines.


  1. Freight allowances are calculated in terms of truckload ratings using the Johnsonville DC origin and customer destination point(s), rates do not include unloading services, detention fees or fuel surcharges. The freight allowance is expressed as CWT (cost per hundredweight) and is credited against the net pounds of the customer’s order.  CPU agreements are reviewed annually.


  1. Customers agreeing to CPU terms agree to manage the transportation of CPU shipments, Johnsonville Transportation will not support delivery for shipments under CPU terms.


  1. Shipment title transfers at time of pick up (FOB Origin) and payment terms begin on the pick-up date.


Contact your Johnsonville Sales or Customer Service Representative for more details.


Shelf Life and Code Dating


Johnsonville goes to great lengths to understand how products perform under normal storage and shipping conditions.  In doing so, we have established shelf life standards that will ensure optimum performance for our customers and consumers.


In addition, Johnsonville also codes each package within the case with a designated code that provides additional data about the product.  This data includes what raw materials were used to make this product and what line and time the product was made.  All of this information is invaluable when an issue arises that warrants product tracking or retrieval.


For any inquiries regarding product code dating please contact your sales representative.


Reclamation Policy


Johnsonville is a manufacturer of meat products.  All of our products are inspected for superior quality before leaving our manufacturing facilities and Johnsonville delivers products to our customers in a saleable condition.   If a customer uses reclamation centers as a business process, Johnsonville will not pay for fees and expenses related to the customer’s reclamation processes unless Johnsonville and the customer had previously signed a written agreement detailing the responsibilities of the parties and all related terms and conditions. .


All questions and concerns related to Johnsonville products should be addressed with your Johnsonville Sales Manager.


Product Withdrawal or Stock Removals


Under rare circumstances, Johnsonville will need to locate and withdraw products from the market.  Our internal procedures are intended to detect and retain products that don’t meet our standards before they leave our possession.  However, under those situations where products have left our possession and a problem is detected, we have the ability to track and trace product routes.  We will communicate these issues early in the process and ask for help to ensure a rapid response.


Our communication will flow through our sales and customer service teams and will include information about the issue, the product lots that are impacted and actions to locate and withdraw products.  In addition, we will move as quickly as we can to replace products and resume our normal business relationship.


Unloading Practices


We request that all customers provide the equipment and manpower necessary to off-load their orders from the carrier’s trailer at the time they are delivered. Accessorial charges may result in fees being assessed against the customer’s trade spending and/or customer P&L.


Shipper Load/Carrier Count


Johnsonville does not provide shipper load and count (SLC) service.


Shipments are loaded by Johnsonville Members (or our agents).


For customers picking up an order, the carrier is responsible for all product overages, shortages, and damage (OSD) at the time of pick-up. Any OSDs must be reported to the Johnsonville OSD coordinator within 24 hours of occurrence.





OS&D Claim Procedures/Consignee Expectations

Consignees must carefully document loss or damage on the Bill of Lading at time of delivery and report any OS&D’s to johnsonvilleosd@johnsonville.com within 24 hours of actual delivery date or the claim is subject to denial.

Visible or Noted Loss or Damage: When recording loss or damage, please use specific details and try to avoid general or generic terms such as “box damaged” or “torn”. This type of notation does not provide adequate support for your claim. Please clearly notate if damages were refused back to the driver and have the driver sign off on the paperwork. Please provide pictures of damaged product and/or cases to support your damage claim.

“Subject to count/inspection,” by itself is not considered a valid notation of loss or damage and will be denied as clear proof of delivery if used.

Concealed Loss or Damage: Concealed loss or damage is that which was not apparent at the time of delivery. Such damages should be reported to johnsonvilleosd@johnsonville.com within 5 days of actual delivery date.

Shortages: At time of delivery please check the labeling on all pallets and cases to be certain they are yours and check for shortages as goods are being unloaded. Be sure to keep the shipment together until unloading is complete, in case a recount is necessary. If there is a shortage, please note it with specific item and count on the delivery receipt before signing for the shipment.

Overages: At time of delivery please check the labeling on all pallets and cases to be certain they are yours and check for overages as goods are being unloaded. Be sure to keep the shipment together until unloading is complete, in case a recount is necessary. If there is an overage, please note it with specific item and count on the delivery receipt before signing for the shipment.  Please also note if you kept the overage or returned to the driver.  If returned to the driver, please have them sign that they took the goods.

Temperature Abuse: If temperature abuse is apparent at the time of delivery it must be noted. Temperature of probed product from nose and tail of trailer must be recorded in detail on the delivery receipt, as well as temperature inside the trailer and reading from the reefer unit. Direct product contact probe temps are the most accurate. A notation of “temperature abuse,” by itself, is not considered a valid notation of a temperature issue.  Please provide pictures of the temperature probed product.


Pallets Types and Exchange


Johnsonville’s standard offering is GMA-style white wood pallets. Johnsonville does not participate in pallet exchange.


Pricing of Orders


Our pricing is effective based on the order placement date. Please contact your Johnsonville Sales Representative for pricing questions.


In the event of any price changes, Johnsonville will provide customers with 30 days’ notice prior to the effective ship date.


For example, if a price change is effective September 1, Johnsonville will provide notice to customers 30 days prior to that date. Any order placed on or after that September 1 date will reflect the price change.


Product Diversion


Product diversion (the resale of our product in geographic areas or venues not authorized by the terms of us providing product to a customer) can undermine Johnsonville’s marketing strategy, the value of our brand, and the brand of other customers who carry our products. Therefore, this practice cannot be tolerated by Johnsonville. Product diversion may result in Johnsonville discontinuing the availability of our products to the offending customer.


Payment Terms


Standard Industry Meat Terms: Net Seven Days


Johnsonville’s terms of payment are “net seven days” because this is the industry standard for meat manufacturing companies.


This industry standard was established because fresh meat is highly perishable, and thus has a very short shelf life. Under Section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the federal government requires that for all livestock purchased for harvest, payment must be initiated by the close of the following business day. Since we are a fresh meat harvester, Johnsonville strictly adheres to this requirement. We therefore set vendor terms at net seven days from receipt of goods.


Agreements to alternative terms by brokers or Johnsonville sales Members are unauthorized and therefore not binding.


Credit Application


To start the credit review process, a signed credit application must be submitted to Johnsonville for review and approval. Each customer is required to have signed and approved credit app before shipments may begin.



Post-Audit Deduction Policy


Post-Audit Deduction Timeline Requirements


Johnsonville will honor post-audit deductions that are taken within the following specifications:


  • All documentation requirements submitted to Johnsonville will be subject to Johnsonville’s review in its reasonable satisfaction.
  • The customer provides Johnsonville with written notice and actual back-up” documentation at least 60 days prior to taking the post-audit deduction, to allow ample time for research and validation. Examples will not be accepted.
  • Claims are submitted in writing within two previous calendar years plus the current calendar year of the initial invoice or performance period. Claims outside this period are considered invalid and require repayment by the customer.  (Johnsonville follows the GMA/FMI guidelines.)


Promotion-Related Post-Audit Deductions


The customer documentation required for a promotion-related post-audit deduction includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  • A customer contract or deal sheet signed by an authorized Johnsonville representative.
  • Proof of performance (ad, billback, scan, display, temporary price reduction [TPR] tag, distributor invoice, etc).
  • Post-audit “back-up” documentation detailing the specific reason(s) for the deduction.


Non-Promotional Pricing-Related Post-Audit Deductions


The customer documentation required for a non-promotional pricing-related post-audit deduction (ie, pickup allowance) includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  • Post audit “back-up” documentation or customer invoice detailing the specific reason(s) for the deduction.
  • Supporting pricing documentation.


Shipping Post-Audit Deductions


The documentation that must be provided by customers for post-audit shipping-related claims such as inventory, quality issues or shipping allowances includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  • A signed proof of delivery showing the seal number and indication of the condition of the seal (intact at the time of delivery).
  • Written itemization of product Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), including quantity shipped over, short, or damaged on both:

–  The “back up” documentation supporting the deduction.

–  The proof of delivery or bill of lading (BOL) documentation.

  • All discrepancies must be clearly noted on the BOL at the time of delivery, while the driver is still present.


IMPORTANT:  International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) regulations require that  shipping claims should be submitted to Johnsonville within six months of the original order shipment date, to allow adequate time for Johnsonville to investigate and file a claim against a carrier if necessary.  If deductions resulting in carrier claims are taken more than six months after the order shipment date, they will be considered invalid by Johnsonville.


Compliance Policy


  • Post-audit deductions will not be accepted if the deduction is taken without allowing Johnsonville at least 60 days advance notice for preliminary investigation, and without proper documentation.  “Back-up” is defined as a customer deal sheet signed by an authorized Johnsonville Sausage representative and proof of performance such as ad copy, billback/scanback data, etc.  Examples will not be accepted.
  • Johnsonville reserves the right to contact customers or the customer’s third-party auditing firm directly to clarify the reasons for post-audit deductions.  Resolution agreement will not be limited to discussing any deduction with third party auditors.


Johnsonville will pursue repayment of post-audit deductions under the following circumstances:


  • The customer is unable to provide appropriate supporting documentation.
  • The post-audit deduction is taken for claims that have not been submitted in writing within two previous calendar years plus the current calendar year of the initial invoice or performance period.


If a deduction is deemed invalid after thorough research by Sales or Customer Service, customers will be informed in writing that repayment of the deduction is due within 30 days of the date of the chargeback letter.


Johnsonville considers certain post-audit deductions invalid. These include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Anticipation (deductions related to compensation for invoices paid prior to due date).
  • Promotional deals on commodity product (ribs, loins, etc.).
  • Promotional deals on dates other than previously agreed upon promotional periods.
  • Customer re-slotting warehouse fees
  • A duplicate deduction. Example: Johnsonville gave off invoice allowance, and customer is deducting too.
  • Nuisance fees (such as documentation processing fees, late trucks or detention charges not related to a CPU, bad pallet charges, etc.).
  • Coupon-redemption charges (such as shipping, handling, foreign coupons, value shortage, expired coupons, variances in coupon count, process fees that exceed the clearing house authorized rate, etc.).
  • Shipping claims involving transportation documentation that is more than nine months old. (These must be filed within six months of order shipment.)


Note: Failure to follow Johnsonville’s post-audit deduction policy may result in penalties including, but not limited to:


  • Interrupted customer shipments, pending resolution.
  • Decrease in current promotional funding.
  • Decrease in future promotional funding.
  • Price increase.
  • Failure to comply with the policy could result in termination of the relationship.

Keep It Fun. Keep It Together.

Keep your plates full, keep your tables fuller, and whatever you do, don’t forget to keep it juicy.

Keep it Juicy