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California Firm Posts $75,000 Surety Bond to Employ PACA Violator

USDA/AMS Press Release:

Release No.: 149-14

Contact: Nadine Wilkins, (202) 720-8998,

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 – Under regulations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), Professional Produce, operating in Vernon, Calif., has posted a $75,000 surety bond.

The bond was posted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to employ Jeffrey Duncan, previously named in a PACA action. Duncan was the president and a stockholder of Perfectly Fresh Consolidation Inc., Norwalk, Calif., which was found to have committed repeated and flagrant PACA violations.

Any PACA licensee wishing to employ persons who have failed to pay a reparation award, or have been subject to a USDA disciplinary action, must post a USDA-approved surety bond.

USDA will hold the $75,000 bond for four years, providing assurance to the industry that the company will be able to pay for produce purchased and to conduct its business according to PACA rules.

The Agricultural Marketing Service, (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 4,600 claims filed under PACA involving more than $87 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.