USDA Cites K & A Produce in New York for PACA Violations

Tue. November 21st, 2017 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited K & A Produce, operating out of Staten Island, New York, for failure to pay for produce.

According to a USDA press release, the company failed to pay $199,937 to eight sellers for 48 lots of produce which was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate commerce from November 2014 through July 2015. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, K & A Produce cannot operate in the produce industry until Sept. 1, 2019, at which time they may reapply for a PACA license.

The company’s principals, Rodin R. Diaz and Kevin Diaz, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until September 1, 2018, 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.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. Its experts also assisted more than 8,500 callers with issues valued at approximately $151 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

Agricultural Marketing Service