USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on Washington Produce Business
- by Jordan Okumura
WASHINGTON, DC - In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it had imposed sanctions on CTA Inc. as part of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As the company has now satisfied a reparation order issued under PACA, the sanctions imposed on CTA have been lifted.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The Ferndale, Washington, company has met its obligations and is now free to operate in the produce industry. Jonathan Tan, David Green, Gurprett Cheema, and Jagit Aujia were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
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 of a 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.
Once a reparation order is fully satisfied and it is confirmed that there are not any outstanding unpaid awards, USDA lifts the employment restrictions of the previously named, responsibly connected individuals.
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 3,500 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 USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contacts, and to read the press release in its entirety, please check out the link here.