Cancel OK

USDA Restricts PACA Violators in Florida, Arizona and California from Operating in the Produce Industry

USDA/AMS Press Release:

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

• PNL Produce LLC, operating out of Miami, Fla., for failing to pay a $7,013 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Paul N. Lazecki was listed as a member of the business.

• FMP Farms & Distributor Inc., operating out of Nogales, Ariz., for failing to pay a $16,906 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jose Vasquez was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.

• United Commodities USA Inc., operating out of Bakersfield, Calif., for failing to pay a $262,863 award in favor of a North Carolina seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kent D. Lancaster and Bruce A. Oettel were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the business.

PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued 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.

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 the AMS, an agency within USDA.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,700 PACA claims involving more than $66 million. Our experts also assisted more than 7,100 callers with issues valued at approximately $100 million. These are just two examples of how the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at regarding this matter.

For more PACA violations reported by Blue Book Services: #PACAViolations