USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California, New York and South Dakota from Operating in the Produce Industry

Date: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 12:00pm
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 068-18

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • JM International Produce Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $23,154 award in favor of a California seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jawaid Ismail was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • SLP Trading Corporation, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $12,297 award in favor of a Texas seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jose Garcia and Viridiana Garcia were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • New Direction Services, operating out of Staten Island, N.Y., for failing to pay a $24,160 award in favor of a Texas seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Wendy R. De Shong Neuhalfen was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • The Fruit Club, operating out of Sioux Falls, S.D., for failing to pay a $108,384 award in favor of a Florida seller.  As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Matthew Kleinsasser was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.

PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued 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.

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.

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