United States Department of Agriculture Restricts PACA Violators in California and Florida from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to produce sellers and failing to pay reparations issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
As part of the sanctions issued against the California- and Florida-based businesses, their PACA licenses will be suspended and their principal operations are barred from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without USDA approval.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Kings Avocados USA, operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $26,482 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Daniel Gonzalez, Francisco Gonzalez, and Ignacio Andrade Barragan were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the business
- VIP Marketing, operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $310,906 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jesse Martin and Christopher Martin were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the business
- Buy Right Produce, operating out of Morgan Hill, California, for failing to pay a $56,987 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Ruby Naranjo was listed as a member of the business
- Latin Produce, operating out of Miami, Florida, for failing to pay a $3,500 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Otto Paz was listed as a member 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.