USDA Files Action Against Bella Fresh Houston LLC in Texas for Alleged PACA Violations
WASHINGTON, DC - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint against Bella Fresh Houston LLC for failing to meet its contractual obligations issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The Texas-based company allegedly failed to make payment promptly to 10 produce sellers in the amount of $3,154,711 from December 2017 through May 2019.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
Bella Fresh Houston LLC will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should the USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry as a licensee for three years, or two years with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years, or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to the 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.
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