WASHINGTON, May 25, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
Soltierra Inc., operating out of Villa Park, , for failing to pay a $ Calif. 17,798award in favor of a Californiaseller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Scott Castanonwas listed as the of the business. sole officer, director, and stockholder Monarca Natural Foods Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, , for failing to pay a $ Calif. 54,745award in favor of a Texasseller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Carolina Reynosowas listed as the of the business. sole officer, director, and stockholder Produce and More Enterprise LLC, operating out of Houston, Texas, for failing to pay a $ 7,477award in favor of a Texasseller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Anatana Capital Sapi DE CV and Miguel Pedraza Villarealwere listed as the of the business. managers and members Florencio Torres, doing business as Torres Fresh Herbs, operating out of Houston, Texas, for failing to pay a $ 19,633award in favor of a Pennsylvaniaseller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Florencio Torreswas listed as the of the business. sole proprietor
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions. This may result in USDA’s issuance of a reparation order that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. 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.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
For more information, contact Penny Robinson-Landrigan, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch, at (202) 720-2890, or PACAdispute@usda.gov.
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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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