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USDA cites three companies for PACA violations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on Ayar Produce NY Inc., J&J Distributing Co. and R&S Export & Import Inc. for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. These sanctions include barring the businesses and the principal operators from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.

Ayar Produce, based in Brooklyn, NY, failed to pay $720,226 to 14 sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from February 2020 to September 2020. This is in violation of the PACA. Ayar Produce cannot operate in the produce industry until May 16, 2024, and then only after it applies for and is issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principal, Necati Ayar, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until May 16, 2023, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

Saint Paul, MN-based J&J failed to pay $493,611 to 12 sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from June 2020 to April 2021. This is in violation of the PACA. J&J cannot operate in the produce industry until July 12, 2024, and then only after it applies for and is issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principals, Jason Jaynes and New Harvest Foods Inc., may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until July 12, 2023, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

R&S Export & Import, based in Doral, FL, failed to pay $298,099 to eight sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from January 2020 to April 2020. This is in violation of the PACA. R&S Export & Import Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until July 13, 2024, and then only after it applies for and is issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principals, Rabby Rampersad and Shivash Rampersad, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until July 13, 2023, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $165 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 6,600 callers with issues valued at approximately $169 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

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