United States Department of Agriculture Restricts PACA Violators in California, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia From Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) imposed sanctions on five produce businesses based out of California, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia, for allegedly failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased. Additionally, the businesses failed to pay reparation awards totaling $237,900 issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
The sanctions imposed by the USDA include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Johns Fresh Produce Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $19,120 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Ammar Jarbouh was listed as the officer, director, and major shareholder of the business
- Lucky Taro Inc., operating out of Vernon, California, for failing to pay a $3,819 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Lily Chang and Kim Heng Lao were listed as the officers, directors, and major shareholders of the business
- Superior Growers LLC, operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada, for failing to pay a $16,841 award in favor of an Arizona seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Ely Trujillo was listed as the member and manager of the business
- Pacos Produce LLC, operating out of Dallas, Texas, for failing to pay a $63,720 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jose Gamez was listed as the sole member of the business
- GoGreen Farms Inc., operating out of Suffolk, Virginia, for failing to pay a $134,400 award in favor of a North Carolina seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, GoGreen Farms and Greenhouses Inc., Paul Cunanan and Breon Clemons were listed as the officers, directors, and major shareholders of the business
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in 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. 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 license without USDA approval.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
To read the release in its entirety, click here.