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USDA Cites Pacific Rim Onion Inc. in Oregon for PACA Violations

Release No.: 102-13 Contact:
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998

 
WASHINGTON, June 4, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Pacific Rim Onion Inc., of Salem, Ore., for failure to pay for produce.

 
The company failed to pay $340,687 to two sellers for 67 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Pacific Rim Onion Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until May 24, 2015, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.

 
The company’s sole principal, Michael B. Aker, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until May 24, 2014, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

 
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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 companies operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company’s license for violations of PACA. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.

 
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under 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, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, by fax at (202) 720-8868, or by email at InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov.

 
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.

 
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

 
 
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  Last Modified Date: 06/04/2013