Release No.: 066-17
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against K & A Produce.
The company, operating from New York, allegedly failed to make payment to eight produce sellers in the amount of $199,937 from November 2014 through July 2015.
K & A Produce 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.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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 further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@ams.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.
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