USDA Restricts PACA Violators in Georgia, Massachusetts, and Mississippi from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry. Recently, the USDA imposed sanctions on three produce businesses: D & T Produce LLC; West Coast Distributing Inc., doing business as West Coast Fresh; and Beulah Land Global Farms LLC.
The companies allegedly failed to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failed to pay reparation awards which, combined, amount to $39,996.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- D & T Produce LLC, operating out of Cordele, Georgia, for failing to pay a $24,567 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Deborah W. Young was listed as a member of the business.
- West Coast Distributing Inc., doing business as West Coast Fresh, operating out of Boston, Massachusetts, for failing to pay a $3,773 award in favor of a California receiver. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Brian V. Bell was listed as the Officer, Director, and major stockholder of the business.
- Beulah Land Global Farms LLC, operating out of Greenville, Mississippi, for failing to pay an $11,656 award in favor of an Arkansas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Carl Nicosia and David Nicosia were listed as members of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in the USDA’s issuance of a reparation order that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. The USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or major stockholders, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
The PACA Division, which is in the Fair Trade Practices Program in the Agricultural Marketing Service, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.
In the past three years, the USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million. These are just two examples of how the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For more information and to read the press release in its entirety, please visit the link here.