USDA cites produce firms for PACA violations

USDA cites produce firms for PACA violations

The US Department of Agriculture has cited BT Produce Company Inc, operating in Bronx NY, 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 November 4, 2011, and then only if it obtains a PACA license.

BT Produce made illegal payments to a USDA inspector in connection with 42 inspections of perishable agricultural commodities, which the firm purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce March–August 1999.

After hearing and appeal procedures through the US court of appeals, USDA’s decision and order became final and effective Nov 4, 2009. The company’s principals, Louis R Bonino and Nat Taubenfeld, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Nov 4, 2010, and Nov 7, 2010, respectively, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

The USDA also has cited four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under PACA. These businesses have been barred from operating in the produce industry until their awards are paid. The businesses are:

•H & H Distributing Co Inc, also doing business as H & H Foodservice, operating in West Union IA, for failing to pay a $16,559 award in favor of a Minnesota seller. The officers, directors, and major stockholders are Sandra K Baldwin, Ruth L Hansen, and the Donald E Hansen Estate.

•Riley Produce Inc, operating in Raleigh NC, for failing to pay a $7,489 award in favor of a South Carolina seller. The officers, directors, and major stockholders are Flavio Gonzalez and Delia Gonzalez.

•Fresh World VA-A Inc, also doing business as Fresh World, operating in Reston VA, for failing to pay a $42,348 award in favor of a Maryland seller. The sole officer, director, and stockholder is Charles C Kim.

•D Kastner Produce, operating in Brookfield WI, for failing to pay a $12,877 award in favor of a Wisconsin seller. The sole proprietor is David M Kastner.

Access www.ams.usda.gov for more information.

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