United States Department of Agriculture Restricts PACA Violators in Florida, Nevada, and Texas From Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently imposed sanctions on five produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased from and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). These sanctions 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:
- Marjaba Import & Export Corp., operating out of Miami, Florida, for failing to pay a $152,760 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Areli M. Juarez Rubi and Nidia L. Polanco Juarez were listed as the officers, directors, and/or major stockholders of the business
- Henderson Foods, operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada, for failing to pay a $27,000 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Gilberto Blanco and Salvador Castro were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the business
- 8A S Jalmex Produce Corp., operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $21,885 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Cesar Ochoa Torres was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business
- Ponce Produce, operating out of Hidalgo, Texas, for failing to pay a $2,510 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Mayra Ponce was listed as a member of the business
- Mestizos Group, operating out of Garland, Texas, for failing to pay a $139,877 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Gerardo Guillen and Michell Torres were listed as members and managers 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 licensee 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.
For contact information, and to read the release in its entirety, click here.