The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint against Valvilla Produce LLC (Valvilla) for alleged violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The company, operating from Texas, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to three produce sellers in the amount of $1,493,960 from February 2020 through May 2020.
Valvilla will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the 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.
Also, in a complaint filed on Nov. 20, 2019, the USDA alleged that Hood River Juice Company Inc. of Hood River, Oregon failed to make full payment promptly in the total amount of $3,607,420 to 12 sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation PACA.
After the complaint was filed, USDA and Hood River entered into a Consent Decision and Order wherein Hood River agreed to pay the unpaid produce sellers listed in Appendix A to the complaint and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $20,000. As a result of Hood River satisfying the terms of the consent decision and order, the finding that it had committed repeated, and flagrant PACA violations was permanently abated without further process, and the case has been closed.
Click here for an overview of companies that previously violated PACA.