Release No.: 146-13
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on two 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:
--New Farm Inc., operating out of Brooklyn, N.Y., for failing to pay a $24,985 award in favor of a New York seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jong Hwa H. Kim was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
--Parker Products Inc., operating out of Goldsboro, N.C., for failing to pay a $20,860 award in favor of a North Carolina seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Hilda Parker was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder 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 sanction on an unlicensed 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 PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. 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 almost $96 million. This is just one more way the 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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