USDA restricts PACA violators in California and Virginia from operating in produce industry

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 Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the PACA. These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA. 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 following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • Jose Salazar, Jr., doing business as Salazar Produce Company, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $23,478 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jose G. Salazar, Jr. was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
  • Orion Pacific Traders Inc., operating out of Walnut Creek, Calif., for failing to pay a $26,387 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Frederick D. Rider was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Lacewing Marketing LLC, operating out of Timberville, Va., for failing to pay an $8,755 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kelly J. Wilkins 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.

Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.

For more information:
John Koller
Tel (202) 720-2890

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