USDA restricts PACA Violators in California, Florida and Georgia from operating in produce industry

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).

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • JW Produce Inc., operating out of Watsonville, Calif., for failing to pay a $27,223 award in favor of a California seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Veronica Martinez Vazquez was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Listo Produce Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $1,484 award in favor of a California seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Pedro L. Astorga was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • So Fresh Wholesale Corp., operating out of Weston, Fla., for failing to pay a $4,472 award in favor of a Florida seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Mitchel G. Brandfon and Robert Vesco were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • Weng Farms Inc., operating out of Garden City, Ga., for failing to pay an $84,897 award in favor of an Oregon seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Liya Weng was listed as the officer, director and stockholder of the business.

Furthermore, the USDA has cited Sarita Ranch Provission Inc. in California for PACA Violations (failure to pay for produce).

The company failed to pay $756,913 to 16 sellers for produce which was purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from March 2017 through November 2017.  This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).  As a result of these actions, Sarita Ranch Provission Inc. is prohibited from operating in the produce industry until Jan. 14, 2021, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principal, Miguel S. Ortega, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Jan. 14, 2020, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

Source: ams.usda.gov


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