USDA Determines Individual Responsibly Connected to Texas Violator

Wednesday, January 4, 2023 - 2:00pm
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Release No.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that Juan Carlos Cruz Castro was responsibly connected to The Great Produce LLC (Great Produce), Pharr, Texas. This is an update to Press Release No: 108-22 issued on July 20, 2022.

Great Produce violated the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) by failing to pay a reparation award of $46,232 in favor of a Texas seller. As a result, USDA imposed sanctions on the business, including requiring that all principals may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.

USDA made an initial determination that Juan Carlos Cruz Castro was responsibly connected to Great Produce, and subject to sanction. Juan Carlos Cruz Castro contested this initial determination and USDA has determined that Juan Carlos Cruz Castro was responsibly connected to Great Produce at the time of the violation.

As a result, Juan Carlos Cruz Castro may not be employed or affiliated with any PACA licensee unless approval from USDA, after the posting of a USDA approved surety bond until November 17, 2024.

For further information, contact Corey Elliott, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873 or

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 over 3,000 PACA claims involving approximately $147 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 5,900 callers with issues valued at approximately $163 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.


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