USDA Issues Payments from PACA Employment Bond

Thursday, February 9, 2023 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, Feb 9, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has distributed payments from a PACA surety bond to 28 firms for reparation awards issued against Rain Forest Produce Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

In accordance with the PACA, a surety bond in the amount of $300,000 was posted in July 2019, on behalf of Rain Forest Produce Inc., as a prerequisite to employ Ricardo Villalobos. Rain Forest Produce Inc. went out of business in February 2020 and the bond was retained for an additional nine months to cover the statutory period for filing complaints under the PACA. The surety bond provides for the payment, or prorated payment, of any PACA reparation awards issued during the bonding period against Rain Forest Produce, Inc. that were not paid or appealed.

Any PACA licensee wishing to employ individuals who have failed to pay a reparation award, or have been subject to a USDA disciplinary action, must post a USDA approved surety bond. USDA holds the surety bond for four years, providing assurance to the industry that the company will be able to pay for produce purchased and to conduct its business according to PACA rules.

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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