USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California and New York from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
According to a press release from the USDA, the following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Jose Mendez, doing business as All Fresh Cold Storage, also trading as JMB Logistics, operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a total of $195,058 in connection with two awards in favor of sellers in Arizona and Ohio. As of the issuance date of the reparations orders, Jose B. Mendez was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
- Write On Marketing Inc., operating out of Los Angeles,California, for failing to pay a total of $219,906 in connection with three awards in favor of sellers in Arizona, California and Florida. As of the issuance date of the reparation orders, Arnulfo Diaz and Jose G. Salazar Jr. were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
- Chefd LLC, operating out of El Segundo,California, for failing to pay a $49,189 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Big Wave Sound Productions, John Camphuse, Susan Camphuse, Caibou Consolidated LLC, D2 Doll Partnership, Forum Family Fund LLC, Chris Growney, John C. Hood, Kris Langley, Jim Langley, MB Investors LLC, Morgan Hunter Capital LLC, Kyle Ransford, Mark Sprague and Ross Westreich were listed as managers and/or members of the business.
- Little Mexico Wholesale Inc., operating out of Bronx, New York, for failing to pay a $53,630 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Josefina Aguirre and Bartolome Aguirre were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued 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.
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.