Worldwide Produce & Groceries faces possible suspension by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for allegedly failing to pay for nearly $300,000 of produce.
In an administrative action announced Nov. 27, the USDA claims Worldwide Produce, Doral, Fla., failed to pay 11 sellers a total of $274,441 for produce bought from April 2010 to June 2011, a violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
Worldwide Produce has been embroiled in court cases alleging nonpayment, including a suit from Buurma Farms in early 2011 for failing to pay for produce worth about $57,600. Worldwide Produce also is a defendant in an ongoing suit brought by Harvest Sensations LLC, with numerous co-plaintiffs including Coosemans Miami, Eagle Eye Produce, Herb Unlimited, Modern Mushroom Sales Co., Sage Fruit Co., Wada Marketing Group, and Westlake Distributors.
Erick Jarquin, president of Worldwide Produce, is listed in the suit as a co-defendant.
If the USDA finds that Worldwide Produce violated the PACA, the company’s license could be suspended for two years and any responsibly connected individuals would be barred from the industry for a year.