Release No.: 119-17
WASHINGTON, Nov 1, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on a produce business for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
MRP Cuts LLC, operating out of McAllen, Texas, continues to be restricted from operating in the produce industry for failing to pay a $36,744 award in favor of a Washington seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Juan Gamez was listed as a member of the business. We have added Luis Enrique Garcia as a responsibly connected member of the business. Roberto Garcia is contesting his responsibly connected status.
Subsequent to the issuance of the reparation order listed above, a new reparation order was issued against MRP Cuts LLC to pay $1,411 to a Texas seller. MRP Cuts LLC has not made payment to the Texas seller within the time designated in the new reparation order. As a result, the sanction period levied against the company and its principals has been extended to reflect this new violation.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. 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 PACA Division, which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), 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 $58 million. Our experts also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $140 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at PACAdispute@ams.usda.gov regarding this matter.
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