WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint against Farm Fresh Packers LLC (Farm Fresh) for alleged violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The company, operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to four produce sellers in the amount of $309,860 from July 2017 through November 2018.
Farm Fresh 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 as a licensee for three years, or two years with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years, or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, 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 3,625 PACA claims involving more than $104 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,600 callers with issues valued at approximately $166 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Corey Elliott, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873 or PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.
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