USDA imposed sanctions on Versa Marketing Inc., in Fresno, Calif., for failing to meet its contractual obligations under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) to the sellers of produce it purchased. These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA. Versa failed to pay $792,939 to three sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from February 2018 to August 2018. This is in violation of the PACA. Versa cannot operate in the produce industry until April 23, 2022, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.The company’s principal, Alfred Goularte, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until April 23, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond. 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, according to the agency.

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