USDA imposes sanctions on and files complaints against produce companies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on five 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:

  • Johns Fresh Produce Inc., Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay $19,120 in favor of a California seller. Ammar Jarbouh was listed as the officer, director, and major shareholder of the business.
  • Lucky Taro Inc., Vernon, California, for failing to pay $3,819 in favor of a California seller. Lily Chang and Kim Heng Lao were listed as the officers, directors, and major shareholders of the business.
  • Superior Growers LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, for failing to pay $16,841 in favor of an Arizona seller. Ely Trujillo was listed as the member and manager of the business.
  • Pacos Produce LLC, Dallas, Texas, for failing to pay $63,720 in favor of a Texas seller. Jose Gamez was listed as the sole member of the business.
  • GoGreen Farms Inc., Suffolk, Virginia, for failing to pay $134,400 in favor of a North Carolina seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, GoGreen Farms and Greenhouses Inc., Paul Cunanan, and Breon Clemons were listed as the officers, directors, and major shareholders of the business.

USDA has also filed an administrative complaint against Island Fresh De Puerto Rico Inc. (IFPR) for alleged violations of PACA. The company, operating from Puerto Rico, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to six produce sellers in the amount of $1,554,566 from August 2019 through July 2020.

USDA has also filed an administrative complaint against Burbano Corporation, doing business as CasaBella Farms Corp. (Burbano), for alleged violations of PACA. The company, operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to four produce sellers in the amount of $385,084 from March 2020 through September 2021.

IFPR and Burbano will both have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that either company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry as a licensee for three years or two years with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

Click here for an overview of companies that previously violated PACA.

For more information:
PACA
Tel: +1 (202) 720-2890
PACAdispute@usda.gov 

Corey Elliott
USDA
Tel: +1 (202) 720-6873
PACAInvestigations@usda.gov 
http://www.ams.usda.gov/   


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