USDA Cites Tumi Produce International Corp. in New York for PACA Violations

Mon. December 10th, 2018
- by Jessica Donnel     

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Tumi Produce International Corp., Bronx, N.Y., for failure to pay for produce.

According to a press release, the company failed to pay $563,831 to seven sellers for produce which was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate commerce from October 2016 through May 2017. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Tumi Produce International Corp. is prohibited from operating in the produce industry until Nov. 19, 2020, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principals, William Bracho and Catherine Bracho, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Nov. 19, 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 industries.

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.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service