USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California and Ohio from Operating in the Produce Industry

Thu. December 7th, 2017 - by Jordan Okumura-Wright

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on two produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

According to a press release, the following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • Unified Ltd., doing business as Pan American Banana, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay an $18,130 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Robin L. Del Toro and Jose M. Del Toro, Jr. were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • AOM International Food LLC, operating out of Columbus, Ohio, for failing to pay a $17,853 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Tammy Trinh was listed as a member of the business.

PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. 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 part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), 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 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. USDA 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