AMS No. 053-13
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Agri-Sales Inc.
The company, operating from Illinois, allegedly failed to make payment to seven produce sellers in the amount of $403,741 from April 2010 through February 2012.
Agri-Sales Inc. 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 for two years. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for one year and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce companies 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 the AMS, an agency within the USDA. The PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry. Under it, all interstate traders in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables must be licensed by USDA. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a trader’s license for violating the act.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under the PACA involving $96 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Acting Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, by fax at (202) 720-8868, or by email at InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov
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