USDA Files Action Against Forest City Weingart Produce Co. in Ohio for Alleged PACA Violations
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Forest City Weingart Produce Co.
According to a USDA press release, the company, operating from Ohio, allegedly failed to make payment to 23 produce sellers in the amount of $716,689 from October 2014 through May 2017.
Forest City Weingart Produce Co. will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry for two years. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for one year and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The PACA Division, which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), 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 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. Its experts also assisted more than 8,500 callers with issues valued at approximately $151 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.