USDA/AMS Press Release:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Hop Hing Produces Inc., operating out of New York, alleging unlawful employment of an individual under PACA employment restrictions after being given notice by USDA that the company was not permitted to employ the individual without USDA-approval and the posting of a surety bond.
Hop Hing Produces Inc. will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company willfully violated the PACA by unlawfully employing an individual under PACA employment restrictions, it could be barred from the produce industry for two years. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for one year and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
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. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA. PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry. Under it, all interstate traders in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables must be licensed by USDA. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a trader’s license for violating the act.
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 USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@ams.usda.gov.
For more PACA violations reported by Blue Book Services: #PACAViolations