AMS No. 008-13
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
--Robert Beykpour doing business as B & K Farms, operating out of Kingsburg, Calif., for failing to pay a $33,975 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Robert Beykpour was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
--Mid State Produce, operating out of Stockton, Calif., for failing to pay a $16,576 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Selina Hernandez and Ruben Hernandez Jr. were listed as partners of the business.
--Juan Villaseneor doing business as Viva Produce, operating out of Las Vegas, Nev., for failing to pay a $21,568 award in favor of a California. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Juan Villaseneor was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
PACA provides for an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. The USDA is required to suspend the license of a 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.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses operating subject to the PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. All oversight of actions related to the PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under the PACA involving almost $96 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding this matter.
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