The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed administrative complaints under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act against two produce companies, one in Michigan and another in Florida.
> Spiech Farms, Lawton, Mich., allegedly failed to pay $1,153,442 to 38 produce sellers from July 2017 through November 2017, according to a news release.
Spiech Farms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2017 in Michigan Western Bankruptcy Court after two bad harvests that year, including a near total loss of its Georgia blueberry crop, according to a story on Michigan business publication MiBiz’s website.
> Sunrise International LLC, Miami, allegedly failed to pay $329,508 to four produce sellers from September 2014 through January 2017, according to a news release.
Sunrise International LLC, which according to online court documents does business as Sunrise Fresh Produce, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June 2017 in Florida Southern Bankruptcy Court.
Both companies have the opportunity to request a hearing with the USDA, but a USDA finding of repeated and flagrant PACA violations would result in being barred from the industry for two years. Responsibly connected individuals would be out of the industry for a year.