The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sanctioned four produce businesses for not paying Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act reparation awards.
USDA has sanctioned Sioux Falls, S.D.-based The Fruit Club and principal Matthew Kleinsasser for failing to pay a $108,384 award in favor of a Florida seller, according to a news release.
The direct-to-consumer fruit distributor started in 2013 with a truckload of Washington cherries and quickly expanded. In 2015, The Fruit Club and third-party logistics provider Logistics Buddy announced a partnership to construct a $70 million, 600,000-square-foot distribution center in Sioux Falls, according to a story by The Packer.
The Fruit Club offers home delivery in some markets, but most customers reserve their orders online and pick them up from a delivery truck at a designated pickup point.
Per its website, the company is currently accepting online reservations for fruit with distribution in nine states.
The following businesses and individuals are also currently restricted from operating in the produce industry, according to the USDA release:
- JM International Produce Inc., Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $23,154 award in favor of a California seller. Jawaid Ismail was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
- SLP Trading Corp., Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $12,297 award in favor of a Texas seller. Jose Garcia and Viridiana Garcia were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
- New Direction Services, Staten Island, N.Y., for failing to pay a $24,160 award in favor of a Texas seller. Wendy R. De Shong Neuhalfen was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.