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Michigan company sanctioned over $1.1 million PACA violation

As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on Spiech Farms LLC in Paw Paw, MI, for failing to pay $1.15 million to 38 sellers for produce that it purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from July 2017 to November 2017. 

This is in violation of the PACA.  As a result of these actions, Spiech Farms cannot operate in the produce industry until May 6, 2021, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principals, Steven Spiech, Robin Spiech, Bradley Spiech and Timothy Spiech, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until May 6, 2020, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed businesses or other activities without approval from USDA.  By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million.  PACA staff also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $156 million.