AMS No. 067-13
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, April 19, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four 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:
--Coy Burrows, doing business as Palmareal Produce Corporation, operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $14,283 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Coy L. Burrows was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
--California Produce Procurement Inc., operating out of Visalia, Calif., for failing to pay a $51,282 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Crespin Rodriquez was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
--Glacier Valley Produce Inc., operating out of Kent, Wash., for failing to pay a $6,466 award in favor of an Oregon seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Timothy J. Laughlin was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
--Uno Marketing Group LLC, operating out of Santa Ana, Calif., for failing to pay a $15,445 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Edith Bejar and Angel Bejar were listed as members of the business.
PACA provides 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. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on 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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