USDA Cites Penny Tsigaris, Doing Business as Manavi Produce in New York for PACA Violations
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Penny Tsigaris, doing business as Manavi Produce (Tsigaris dba Manavi), Oceanside, New York, for failing to pay for produce.
According to a USDA press release, the company failed to pay $385,021 to three sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from February 2015 to January 2016. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Tsigaris dba Manavi cannot operate in the produce industry until September 24, 2020, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principal, Penny Tsigaris, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until September 24, 2019, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
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 in the Fair Trade Practices Program in the Agricultural Marketing Service, 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, USDA resolved approximately 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $156 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.