USDA Imposes Sanctions Against Three Companies Operating in California, Florida, and Texas
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to pay sellers and failing to pay reparation awards that have been issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). Los Angeles, California-based JRP Group; Miami, Florida-based Natura Fresh; and McAllen, Texas-based Talygap Produce, together failed to pay in the amount of $18,662.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- JRP Group, d/b/a Prime Produce, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay an $11,984 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kay Persaud, Joshua C. Roach, and Rajendra S. Persaud were listed as the officers, directors, and/or major stockholders of the business
- Natura Fresh LLC, operating out of Miami, Fla., for failing to pay an $3,168 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Julia Espinal was listed as a member of the business
- Talygap Produce Inc., operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $3,510 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Gustavo Adolfo Ponce Reyes was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder 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 more information, and to read the press release in full, click here.