USDA/AMS Press Release:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four 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:
•Taylor Produce LLC, operating out of Rigby, Idaho, for failing to pay a $1,327,478 award in favor of an Idaho seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Alan Taylor Produce and Alan L.Taylor were listed as members of the business.
•Olympic Wholesale Produce Inc., operating out of Chicago, Ill., for failing to pay a $32,751 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Nicholas Doumouras was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
•Tumi Produce International Corp., operating out of Bronx, N.Y., for failing to pay a $20,310 award in favor of a Michigan seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, William Bracho and Catherine Bracho were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
•G. Hinojosa Produce Co. Inc., operating out of Houston, Texas, for failing to pay a $25,547 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Teresa T. Hinojosa and Greg A. Hinojosa were listed as the officers, directors and/or 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 PACA Division, which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, 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. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,500 callers with issues valued at approximately $151 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 PACAdispute@ams.usda.gov regarding this matter.
Contact Info: Nadine Wilkins, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-720-8998
Release No.: 023-18
For more PACA violations reported by Blue Book Services: #PACAViolations