USDA PACA updates

As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed an administrative complaint against Poblano Fresh Produce Corp. The company, operating from California, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to one produce seller in the amount of $230,918 from October through November 2019.

Poblano Fresh Produce Corp. will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it 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.

Florida company cited
USDA has also imposed sanctions on Genaro Produce Incorporated, Miami, Fla., for failing to meet its contractual obligations to the sellers of produce it purchased. 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. 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.

Genaro Produce Incorporated failed to pay $284,981 to ten sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from September 2016 to October 2018. This is in violation of the PACA. Genaro Produce Incorporated cannot operate in the produce industry until Aug. 10, 2022, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA. 

The company’s principals, Teodoro Aragon and Genaro Aragon, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Aug. 10, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

Reparation sanctions lifted
USDA also announced that The Chop Shop Produce Co. LLC satisfied a reparation order in the amount of $7,111 issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) involving an unpaid produce transaction.

The San Antonio, Texas, company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Jamie Gonzalez and James Smith were listed as members and managers of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.

Individual not responsibly connected
Finally, the USDA has determined that Roberto Fantini Cardenas is not responsibly connected to Green Desert Produce LLC (Green Desert), Pharr, Texas. This is an update to Press Release No: 127-20 issued on July 30, 2020. 

Green Desert violated the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) by failing to pay a reparation award totaling $11,295 in favor of a Texas seller. As a result, USDA imposed sanctions on the business, including requiring that all principals may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.

USDA made an initial determination that Roberto Fantini Cardenas was responsibly connected to Green Desert and subject to sanction. Roberto Fantini Cardenas contested this initial determination and USDA has now determined that Roberto Fantini Cardenas was not responsibly connected to Green Desert at the time of the violation. 

As a result, Roberto Fantini Cardenas may be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.

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

For more information: 
John Koller
USDA
Tel: +1 202 720 2890
Email: PACAdispute@usda.gov
www.ams.usda.gov


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