USDA Files Action Against Poppell’s Produce Inc. in Georgia for PACA Violations

Date: 
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 10:00am
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 031-16

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Poppell’s Produce Inc.

The company, operating from Georgia, allegedly failed to make payment to 20 produce sellers in the amount of $327,702 from September 2012 through December 2013.

Poppell’s Produce 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 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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