USDA restricts PACA violators in Florida and Texas
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- DGR Sales LLC, operating out of Lehigh Acres, FL, for failing to pay a $150,064 award in favor of a Georgia seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Damon Trawick was listed as a manager of the business.
- Simple & Fresh Produce Corporation, operating out of Miami, for failing to pay an $11,843 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Juan M. Almeida, Jr., was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
- Rhino Brokerage LLC, operating out of Schertz, TX, for failing to pay a $30,540 award in favor of an Arkansas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Diana I. Mayo and Brandon Brown were listed as members and managers of the business.
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.
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.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,625 PACA claims involving more than $104 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,600 callers with issues valued at approximately $166 million.