USDA files actions against businesses in Idaho and Illinois for PACA infractions

Jan 23, 2015

Over $3 million in missed payments between two businesses

By Diego Flammini,

The United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) took action against a business in the Gem State and one in the Prairie State because they were found to be in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

PACA’s mandate is to work together with the fruit and vegetable industries to facilitate fair trade using education, mediating practices, arbitration hearings, licensing and enforcement practices.

The following businesses are under investigation:

Taylor Produce LLC
Operating in Idaho and performing duties as a growers’ agent, it is alleged Taylor Produce didn’t pay nine produce growers. 605,492 lots of products are said to have gone unpaid for, at a value of $3,943,926. The company purchased the produce between June and December 2013.

Phoenix Produce Company
Conducting business in Illinois, Phoenix Produce Company allegedly failed to pay 17 sellers for their products, making a combined value of $987,843. The products were purchased between March 2011 and February 2013.

The total value of unpaid money between the two businesses is $4,931,769.

Both companies will be given the chance to request a formal hearing. If the USDA determines they committed these acts repeatedly and knowingly, they could be barred from the produce industry for up to two years.

Idaho’s largest produce commodity in 2013 was potatoes with more than $1 billion in production. With over $9 billion in production, corn was the top crop in Illinois in 2013.