USDA Cites CKF Produce Corp. in New York for PACA Violations


Wed. June 3rd, 2020
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez     

WASHINGTON, DC - As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to uphold the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the USDA has imposed sanctions on CKF Produce Corp. (CKF). The Brooklyn, New York-based company allegedly failed to meet its contractual obligations to pay $596,354 to 17 sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from March 2017 to November 2018.

Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:

These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from the USDA. By issuing these penalties, the USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.

CKF failed to pay $596,354 to 17 sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from March 2017 to November 2018. This is in violation of the PACA. CKF cannot operate in the produce industry until May 15, 2022, and then only after it applies for and is issued a new PACA license by the USDA.

The company’s principal, Koji Ueno, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until May 15, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

The USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.

The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.

In the past three years, the USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million. These are just two examples of how the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.


For further information, contacts, and to read the press release in its entirety, please visit the link here.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service

 
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