USDA/AMS Press Release:
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Al Harrison Company Distributors, of Nogales, Ariz., for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $690,537 to 12 sellers for 104 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Al Harrison Company Distributors cannot operate in the produce industry until March 24, 2017, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.
The company’s principal, Brent Harrison, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until March 24, 2016, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Another company principal is currently challenging her responsibly connected status.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of the PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce companies operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company’s license for violations of PACA. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 4,250 PACA claims involving more than $77 million. Our experts also assisted more than 7,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $110 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, by fax at (202) 720-8868, or by email at InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov.
Release No.: 054-15
Contact: Nadine Wilkins, (202) 720-8998, firstname.lastname@example.org