WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four 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:
MR D Fruit & Produce Inc., operating out of Miami, Fla., for failing to pay a $46,700 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Diosdado Hernandez and Alberto Hernandez were listed as the officers, directors and major shareholders of the business.
Andean Fresh Fruit Corp., BB #:343379 operating out of Aventura, Fla., for failing to pay a $117,280 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Francisco Dabike, Wagner Bayas and Wilhelm Zimmermann were listed as the officers, directors and major shareholders of the business.
BMP Trading Inc., operating out of Miami Lakes, Fla., for failing to pay a $13,491 award in favor of a New York seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Joaquin Lopez was listed as the sole officer, director and stockholder of the business.
A & S Broadway Produce, Inc., BB #:200030 operating out of Yonkers, N.Y., for failing to pay a $23,216 award in favor of a New York seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Steve Papakonstantis and Anthony Sciandra were listed as the officers, directors and major shareholders 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 Penny Robinson-Landrigan, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch, at (202) 720-2890 or PACAdispute@usda.gov.
Release No. 041-23