AMS No. 054-12
Nadine Wilkins (202)720-8998
WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2012 – Under regulations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), Friendly Fruit Inc., operating in New Bedford, Mass., has posted a $50,000 surety bond with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The bond was required in order to employ Peter Tasho, previously named in a PACA action.
Peter Tasho was an officer of Tropical Banana Co. Inc. Brockton, Mass., which was found to have committed repeated and flagrant violations of Section 2 of the PACA.
Any PACA licensee wishing to employ persons who have failed to pay a reparation award, or have been subject to a USDA disciplinary action, must post a USDA-approved surety bond.
USDA will hold the $50,000 bond for four years, providing assurance to the industry that the company will be able to pay for produce purchased and to conduct its business according to PACA rules.
The PACA requires that all interstate traders in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables be USDA-licensed. The PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a trader's license for violating the act.
In fiscal year 2011, USDA resolved approximately 2,000 claims filed under the PACA involving $31 million. This is just one more way the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
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