USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California, Florida, and Texas from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions against four produce businesses for failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), and meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased, in total amounting to over $287,000.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Poblano Fresh Produce Corp., operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $230,918 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Eliborio Ramirez was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business
- Maya Fruit Corporation Inc., operating out of Miami Lakes, Florida, for failing to pay an $18,972 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Richard Vega was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business
- Suncrest Produce Solutions, operating out of Winter Haven, Florida, for failing to pay a $26,650 award in favor of a Virginia seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jason Turner was listed as the sole principal of the business
- Terrys Supermarket #7 LLC, operating out of Lewisville, Texas, for failing to pay a $10,802 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kun W. Yu 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.
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 3,500 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 USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry
For more information, or to read the press release in its entirety, click here