USDA cites one company, files action against another

USDA cites one company, files action against another

The US Department of Agriculture has cited All Fresh International Inc, operating in Miami FL, for willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

As a result, the company cannot operate in the produce industry until August 1, 2011, and then only if it obtains a PACA license.

All Fresh allegedly failed to make full payment promptly to four sellers in the total amount of $215,076.07 for 18 lots of produce, which the company purchased, received, and accepted in the course of interstate commerce from May through June 2007.

The USDA served the company with a complaint, and the company failed to file an answer.

All Fresh’s sole principal, Jesse J Fernandez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Aug 1, 2010, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

The USDA has filed an administrative action against Mexi Products Inc, operating in Chicago IL. This action alleges that the company committed willful, repeated, and flagrant PACA violations.

In the action, it is alleged that Mexi Products failed to make full payment promptly to six sellers of the agreed purchase prices, or balances thereof, in the total amount of $325,636.85 for 122 lots of perishable agricultural commodities. The company allegedly purchased, received, and accepted the commodities in interstate or foreign commerce from July 2004 through March 2008.

Mexi Products will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it could 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 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.

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