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USDA Cites Top Tomato Company in Florida for PACA Violations

AMS No. 256-12

 
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998

 
WASHINGTON, Nov 26, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Top Tomato Company of Pompano Beach, Fla., for failure to pay for produce.

 
The company failed to pay $331,446.65 to 11 sellers for 36 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, USDA and Top Tomato Company have entered into a consent decision. Top Tomato Company cannot operate in the produce industry until Nov. 8, 2014, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.

 
The company’s sole principal, Jeff Pfaff, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Nov. 8, 2013. Afterwards, he must post a USDA-approved surety bond before being employed by or affiliated with a PACA licensee.

 
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 the PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. The USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company’s license for violations of the PACA. All PACA oversight actions 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 the 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

 
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at http://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: 11/26/2012