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USDA restricts PACA violators in California and Texas

As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, 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 PACA.

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

Golden Rule Produce Inc., operating out of Morgan Hill, CA, 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, TX, for failing to pay a $23,086 award in favor of an Arkansas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Cantu was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.

Martinez Fresh Produce LLC, operating out of Dallas, 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.

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. 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.