WASHINGTON, April 22, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on two produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Passion Herbs LLC, BB #:376903 operating out of Miami, Fla., for failing to pay a $7,400 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Galo A. Ortiz was listed as a manager of the business.
- G & D Produce Incorporated, BB #:355494 operating out of Pharr, Texas, for failing to pay a $6,219 award in favor of a Pennsylvania seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Eduardo Javier Garibay Eversbusch, Charles Russell Deppen and Eduardo Jose De La Cruz Diaz Rodriguez 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 USDA’s issuance of a reparation order 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.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch, at (202) 720-2890 or PACAdispute@usda.gov.
Release No. 047-22