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 their PACA licenses and barring the principal operators from engaging in PACA-licensed business/other activities without USDA approval.
These businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the industry:
- C & D Distributors Inc. out of Evanston, IL for failing to pay a $7,457 award in favor of a Colorado seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Samuel R. Sustarich and Clark J. Fideler were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
- Farmer Jacks Produce LLC out of Middlesex, NJ for failing to pay an $11,031 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Nasser Nasser and Helen G. Mejia were listed as managers and members of the business. Other principals at the time were Francis Manzo, Sharon Press and Stephen D. Press. Sharon Press and Stephen D. Press have been found not responsibly connected to Farmer Jack's at the time of the violation. Francis Manzo has challenged his responsibly connected status.
The USDA also announced 2JM Produce LLC satisfied a $3,563 reparation order issued under PACA involving unpaid produce transactions. The Edinburg, TX company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Joel Carcano, Jr., was listed as the manager and member of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
The USDA also announced that Suncrest Produce Solutions satisfied a reparation order in the amount of $26,650 issued under PACA involving unpaid produce transactions. The Winter Haven, FL company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Jason Turner was listed as the sole principal of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
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 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 failing to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against 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/affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.