USDA Files Action Against Andrews Farming Inc. in Virginia for PACA Violations

Date: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:00am
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 011-16

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Andrews Farming Inc. of Hillsville, Va.

The company, operating in Virginia, allegedly failed to make payment to 11 produce sellers in the amount of $513,226 from December 2014 through June 2015.

Andrews Farming Inc. will have an opportunity to request a hearing.  Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry for two years.  Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for one year and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

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.  All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.  PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry.  Under it, all interstate traders in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables must be licensed by USDA.  USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a trader’s license for violating the act.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,700 PACA claims involving more than $66 million.  Our experts also assisted more than 7,100 callers with issues valued at approximately $100 million.  These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@ams.usda.gov.

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.

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