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USDA restricts PACA violators in New York and Texas

paca artAs 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 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 PACA.

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

  • Family Fruit 2 Inc., operating out of Staten Island, NY, for failing to pay a $47,025 award in favor of a Pennsylvania seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Louis Epifania was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • Jasmine Parada, doing business as Bella Terra Produce, operating out of Dallas, for failing to pay a $24,060 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jasmine Parada was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
  • Green Desert Produce LLC, operating out of Pharr, TX, for failing to pay an $11,295 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Clemente Fantini, De RL De CV Bodegas Green Desert Spr. and Roberto Fantini Cardenas were listed as members or managers of the business.

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 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million.

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