USDA suspends operations at Cleveland-based produce company

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on a Cleveland produce business for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

The following business and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Agvest Inc., operating out of Cleveland, failed to pay a $57,899.58 award in favor of a Pennsylvania seller.

As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Evelyn Kahn, Barry A. Schneider, Stanley Schneider, Patricia Schneider, Wendy D. Schneider, and Patricia Schneider Trust were listed as the officers, directors, and major stockholders of the company.

What’s PACA

PACA provides for an administrative forum to handle disputes over 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.

The USDA is required to suspend the license of 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.

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