USDA TAKES ACTION AGAINST HARVEST DISTRIBUTING
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed an administrative action against Harvest Distributing Inc. for 'repeated and flagrant' violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
The USDA alleges that the Jenison, Mich.-based company failed to pay 24 sellers more than $2.2 million for perishable agricultural commodities purchased in interstate commerce from May 1998 through July 1999.
If the agency finds that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it could be barred from the produce industry for two years and its principals could not be employed by any PACA licensee for one year, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry. Under it, interstate traders of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables must be licensed by the USDA.