Release No.: 114-14
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Adams Produce Company LLC, of Birmingham, Ala., for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $10,735,186 to 51 sellers for 9,314 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Adams Produce Company LLC cannot operate in the produce industry until Jan. 8, 2016, at which time it may apply for a PACA license.
The company’s principals, Steve Alexander, API Holdings LLC, Jonathan Dyer, Scott Grinstead, and Michael Rawlings, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Jan. 8, 2015, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond before being employed by or affiliated with a PACA licensee. Two additional principals are challenging their responsibly connected status with the company.
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 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 InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov
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