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TMCNet:  USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on Oregon Produce Business

[October 26, 2013]

USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on Oregon Produce Business

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service issued the following news release: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Portland Fruit Co. Inc. satisfied a reparation order issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

The Portland, Ore., company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Ronald L. Morrow was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.

PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to impose sanctions on a business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA-approval.

Once a reparation order is fully satisfied and it is confirmed that there are not any outstanding unpaid awards, USDA lifts the employment restrictions of the previously named, responsibly connected individuals. USDA also requires any unlicensed company that fully satisfies all unpaid reparation awards to obtain a license if it continues to operate in the industry.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under PACA involving almost $96 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at disputeresolutionsection@ams.usda.gov regarding this matter.

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

TNS 30VianaGem - 131026-4529819 30VianaGem (c) 2013 Targeted News Service

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