USDA/AMS Press Release:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited K & A Produce, operating out of Staten Island, New York, for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $199,937 to eight sellers for 48 lots of produce which was purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from November 2014 through July 2015. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, K & A Produce cannot operate in the produce industry until Sept. 1, 2019, at which time they may reapply for a PACA license.
The company’s principals, Rodin R. Diaz and Kevin Diaz, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Sept. 1, 2018, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated and flagrant violations of 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 PACA Division, which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. Our experts also assisted more than 8,500 callers with issues valued at approximately $151 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Travis Hubbs, Acting Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@ams.usda.gov.
Contact Info: Nadine Wilkins, email@example.com, 202-720-8998
Release No.: 130-17