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USDA Restricts PACA Violators in Florida and Illinois from Operating in the Produce Industry

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on two 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:

MVP Produce LLC, operating out of Ruskin, Fla., for failing to pay a $38,810 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Patricia Martinez and Miguel Martinez were listed as members of the business.

LDS Food Distributors Inc., operating out of Chicago, Ill., for failing to pay a $46,154 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Amado Acosta and Cecilia Gonzalez 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 in the Fair Trade Practices Program in the 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 USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

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

Contact Info:

Nadine Wilkins


Release No.: 062-18