United States Department of Agriculture Cites Mestizos Group in Texas for PACA Violations
WASHINGTON, DC - Another sanction from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been passed down. The agency recently imposed sanctions on Garland, Texas-based Mestizos Group for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) by allegedly failing to pay $399,416 to produce sellers.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
Mestizos failed to pay $399,416 to five sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from April 2021 to September 2021. This is in violation of the PACA. Mestizos cannot operate in the produce industry until June 26, 2025, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principals, Gerardo Guillen and Michell Torres, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until June 26, 2024, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA, as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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.