As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint under the PACA against Southern Produce Distributors, Inc. The company, operating from North Carolina, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to 34 produce sellers in the amount of $3,488,367 from April 2017 through June 2018.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also filed an administrative complaint under the PACA against Write On Marketing Inc. The company, operating from California, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to nine produce sellers in the amount of $619,195 from August 2017 through July 2018.
These companies will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the companies committed repeated and flagrant violations, they would be barred from the produce industry as a licensee for three years, or two years with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years, or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
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 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $156 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For more information:
Travis M. Hubbs
Tel: (202) 720-6873