The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA, according to a news release.
By issuing these penalties, the release said USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
The Aug. 1 release said these businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Golden Rule Produce Inc., operating out of Morgan Hill, Calif., for failing to pay a $24,245 award in favor of an Arizona seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Dimitrios Tsigaris was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business;
- Alberto Cantu, Jr., doing business as Veggie Co., operating out of Mission, Texas, for failing to pay a $23,086 award in favor of an Arkansas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Alberto Cantu, Jr. was listed as the sole proprietor of the business; and
- Martinez Fresh Produce LLC, operating out of Dallas, Texas, for failing to pay a $9,760 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Arturo Martinez Isguerra was listed as a manager/member of the businesses.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch, at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at [email protected]a.gov.