WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) against Fresh & Easy LLC.
The company, operating from California, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to 23 produce sellers in the amount of $201,486 from March 2015 through December 2015.
Fresh & Easy LLC will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry for two years. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for one year and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The PACA Division, which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), 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 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. Our experts also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $140 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873 or by email at PACAInvestigations@ams.usda.gov.
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