The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Fernando McIntyre, doing business as Morning Star Produce, satisfied an $8,640 reparation order issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) involving unpaid produce transactions.
The McAllen, TX company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Fernando McIntyre was listed as the sole proprietor of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
Once a reparation order is fully satisfied and it is confirmed there are not any outstanding unpaid awards, USDA lifts the employment restrictions of the previously named, responsibly connected individuals. USDA also requires any unlicensed company that fully satisfies all unpaid reparation awards to obtain a license if it continues to operate in the industry.
The USDA has imposed sanctions on two produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (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 the USDA.
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- D’Amore Produce Solutions LLC, operating out of Saginaw, MI, for failing to pay a $40,405 award in favor of an Arkansas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Andrew M. Damore was listed as a member of the business.
- Gutville Produce LLC, operating out of McAllen, TX, for failing to pay an $18,900 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Ovidio G. Gutierrez Trevino was listed as the manager and member of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions. This may result in the 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.
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.