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USDA restricts PACA violators in NJ, NY

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:

  • PFI Express Inc., operating out of Valley Stream, NY, for failing to pay a $57,638 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Romilda Silva was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Herbguy Inc., doing business as Rockhedge Herb Farms, operating out of Pleasant Valley, NY, for failing to pay a $22,369 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, John Alva was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Nova Fresh Produce Inc., operating out of Freehold, NJ, for failing to pay a $14,680 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Nekhamiyev Marat was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder 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.