The Department of Agriculture Monday announced sanctions on five produce businesses. The sanctions are in response to the businesses failing to meet obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, or PACA. The sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business.
The businesses are Urban Fresh Produce of California, Sunrise Produce of Maryland, PFI Express and Temple Turmeric of New York and Eli Gonzalez Distributors of Texas. PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving transactions, which may result in 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.