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USDA restricts PACA violators in California and Virginia

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 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:

  • Orion Pacific Traders Inc., operating out of Walnut Creek, CA, for failing to pay a $26,387 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Frederick D. Rider was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Jose Salazar Jr. doing business as Salazar Produce Co., operating out of Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $23,478 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jose G. Salazar Jr. was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
  • Lacewing Marketing LLC, operating out of Timberville, VA, for failing to pay an $8,755 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kelly J. Wilkins was listed as a member 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.