California Firm Posts $300,000 Employment Bond

Under regulations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), Rain Forest Produce Inc. BB #:288753, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., posted a $300,000 surety bond.

The surety bond was posted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to employ Ricardo Villalobos, previously named in a PACA action.

Ricardo Villalobos was the president and a stockholder of RRD Produce Co., Los Angeles, Calif., a company which failed to pay a reparation award issued against it under the PACA.

Any PACA licensee wishing to employ individuals who have failed to pay a reparation award, or have been subject to a USDA disciplinary action, must post a USDA-approved surety bond.

USDA will hold the $300,000 bond for four years and nine months, providing assurance to the industry that the company will be able to pay for produce purchased and to conduct its business according to PACA rules.

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 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $156 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

For further information, contact Travis M. Hubbs, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.

Contact Info: Nadine Wilkins, nadine.wilkins@usda.gov, 202-720-8998

Release No.: 112-19