WASHINGTON, May 9, 2022 - In a complaint filed on Sept. 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleged that American Fruit & Produce Corp. (American Fruit), Miami, Fla., failed to make full payment promptly in the total amount of $667,214 to 21 sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
After the complaint was filed, USDA and American Fruit entered into a Consent Decision and Order in which American Fruit agreed to pay the unpaid produce sellers in full and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $30,000. As a result of American Fruit satisfying the terms of the consent decision and order, the finding that it had committed repeated and flagrant PACA violations was permanently abated without further process and the case has been closed.
For more information, contact Corey Elliott, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873 or PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.
The PACA Division, which is in the Fair Trade Practices Program in the Agricultural Marketing Service, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $165 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 6,600 callers with issues valued at approximately $169 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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