USDA Cites Florida Cool Cargo in Florida for PACA Violations
WASHINGTON, DC - In its pursuit to uphold the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on Florida Cool Cargo, in Miami, Florida. Florida Cool Cargo has allegedly failed to pay $115,806 to five sellers of produce. Under the rules of the PACA, Florida Cool Cargo will be sanctioned, barring the company and the principal operators from conducting PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from the USDA.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
Florida Cool failed to pay $115,806 to five sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from May 2019 to July 2019. This is in violation of the PACA. Florida Cool cannot operate in the produce industry until July 23, 2023, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principals, Yosuan Fernandez and Jesse Fernandez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until July 23, 2022, 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 more information, and to read the press release in its entirety, click here.