The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint against Cantero Produce Corp. (Cantero) for alleged violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The company, operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to two produce sellers in the amount of $412,050 from August 2022 through September 2022.
USDA has also filed an administrative complaint against United Vegetable Produce Inc. (United Vegetable) for alleged violations of PACA. The company, operating from New York, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to two produce sellers in the amount of $100,025 from September 2017 through February 2020.
Both companies 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.
USDA has also imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under 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:
- Cadence Gourmet LLC, doing business as Cadence Kitchen, operating out of Corona, California, for failing to pay a $56,609 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Brian & Tina Wynn Community Property Trust, Brian Wynn Family Trust, Alexander Klein, and Brian J. Wynn were listed as managers and members of the business.
- San Isidro Fresh Produce Inc., operating out of Chicago, Illinois, for failing to pay a $29,680 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Emmanuel Garcia was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
- First Quality Produce LLC, operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $7,200 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Oscar Manuel Corral Vega and Elizabeth Vega Trujillo were listed as managers and members of the business.
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.
Click here for an overview of companies that previously violated PACA.