The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on Kendall Frozen Fruits Inc. (KFF), Newport Beach, Calif., for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). KFF failed to pay $2,166,335 to two sellers for produce purchased, received, and accepted in interstate commerce from May 2017 to July 2018.
According to the USDA, KFF cannot operate in the produce industry until April 2, 2023, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the company from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
The company’s principal, Susan Kendall, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until April 2, 2022, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. In addition, the company’s other principal, Brian Klein, has challenged his responsibly connected status, stated USDA in a press release.
Related Article: U.S. Agricultural Groups Call for Review Over Trade Relations with Mexico
PACA regulations state that sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or principal stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
In recent days, the USDA also imposed sanctions on Fresh Produce Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
Fresh Produce failed to pay $374,069 to 15 sellers for produce purchased, received, and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from May 2018 to August 2019.
Now the company cannot operate in the produce industry until April 16, 2023, and the company’s principal, Julio Nolasco, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until April 16, 2022, said the federal agency.
The PACA Division, which is in the Fair-Trade Practices Program in the Agricultural Marketing Service, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,625 PACA claims involving more than $104 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,600 callers with issues valued at about $166 million. These are just two examples of how the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.