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Georgia Firm Posts $20,000 Surety Bond to Obtain PACA License

Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

CONTACT: Nadine Wilkins, (202) 720-8998, nadine.wilkins@ams.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 - Under regulations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), Patrick Family Farms LLC., operating in Omega, Georgia, has posted a $20,000 cash surety bond.

The bond was posted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and allows Patrick Family Farms LLC to obtain a license to operate in the produce industry. Under PACA regulations, the firm must post a bond following its involvement in bankruptcy.

USDA will hold the bond for three years, providing assurance to the industry that the company will be able to pay for produce purchased and conduct business according to the PACA rules.

The PACA requires that all interstate traders in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables be USDA-licensed. The PACA establishes a code of good business conduct for the produce industry. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a trader's license for violating the Act.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce companies operating subject to the PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. The USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company's license for violations of the PACA. All oversight of actions related to the PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.

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

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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).

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