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USDA Cites La Merced Produce LLC in Georgia for PACA Violations

Release No.: 159-14
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited La Merced Produce LLC, of Forest Park, Ga., for failure to pay for produce.

The company failed to pay $4,351,483 to 13 sellers for 391 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, La Merced Produce LLC cannot operate in the produce industry until June 16, 2016, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.

The company’s principals, Alejandro Gonzalez and Hugo Gonzalez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until June 16, 2015, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

Under PACA provisions, those individuals held responsibly connected to PACA violations including sole proprietors, partners, members, officers, directors, and 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 4,600 claims filed under PACA involving more than $87 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

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at 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: 07/28/2014