The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four 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).
- JB Produce LLC, Denver, CO: failing to pay $16,999 in favor of a California seller. Daniel Perez-Perez listed as member and/or major stockholder.
- UMV Foods Corporation, Doral, FL: failing to pay $17,215 in favor of a New Jersey seller. Damian Vega listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
- Fong Shing International Corp., Maspeth, NY: failing to pay $53,540 in favor of a Texas seller. Minh Thai listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
- Mercatropic Corp., Mission, TX: failing to pay $26,116 in favor of a Florida seller. Roberto De La Torre listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
- Carla Langarcia (Barajas Produce), Los Angeles, CA: failing to pay $7,293 in favor of a California seller. Langarcia listed as sole proprietor.
- Burbano Corporation (CasaBella Farms), Miramar, FL: failing to pay $142,381 in favor of a Florida seller. Luis Burbano listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
- H. Brooks and Company LLC, New Brighton, MN: failing to pay $87,328 in favor of a Michigan seller. New Harvest Foods Inc. and Jason Jaynes listed as managers and members.
- Don Pepes Avocados LLC, San Benito, TX: failing to pay $39,250 in favor of a California seller. Jose Guadalupe Marroquin Cardenas and Jose Ernesto Trevino listed as managers and members.
- Promised Land Farms LLC, Corona, CA: failing to pay $22,269 in favor of a Texas seller. Juan Carlos Torres listed as a member.
- Los Traviesos Produce Inc., Los Angeles, CA: failing to pay $21,600 in favor of a Florida seller. Laura Villegas listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
- Fresh by Nature Inc., Norco, CA for failing to pay $7,000 in favor of a Missouri seller. Manuel Pinon listed as officer, director and major stockholder.
USDA has also imposed sanctions on Rain Forest Produce Inc. (Rain Forest), Los Angeles, CA for violating PACA. These include barring the business and principal operators from engaging in PACA-licensed business/other activities without approval from USDA.
Rain Forest failed to pay $1,576,260 to 33 sellers for produce purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from October 2018-February 2020. Rain Forest cannot operate in the produce industry until Oct. 12, 2023 and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA. Company principals Fernando Pantoja and Tony Perez may not be employed by/affiliated with any PACA licensee until Oct. 12, 2022, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
And in an Aug. 19, 2020 complaint, USDA alleged that Martinez Fresh Produce LLC (Martinez Fresh), Dallas, TX failed to make full payment promptly for $155,508 to eight sellers for multiple lots. USDA and Martinez Fresh entered into a Consent Decision and Order in which Martinez Fresh agreed to pay the sellers in full and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $20,000. As a result, the case has been closed.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.
For more information:
Tel: +1 202 720 2890