USDA Cites Frutera Del Litoral USA LLC in Florida for PACA Violations
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Frutera Del Litoral USA LLC, operating out of Miami, Florida, for failure to pay for produce.
According to a press release, the company failed to pay $698,992 to five sellers for produce which was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate commerce from September 2015 through March 2016. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Frutera Del Litoral USA LLC is prohibited from operating in the produce industry until November 2, 2020, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principals, Francisco Dabike Armstrong, Diana Carolina Lascano Lozada, and Carlos Mauricio Rueda Mesias, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until November 2, 2019, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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, USDA resolved approximately 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $156 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.