USDA fines Morgan Hill produce distributor

The US Department of Agriculture imposed sanctions on a Morgan Hill-based produce distributor Aug. 1 for reportedly failing to meet its contractual obligations.

According to the USDA, Golden Rule Produce Inc. did not pay a $24,245 fine to an Arizona seller that was imposed on the company under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. PACA, through the USDA, enforces fair business practice and provides a forum where firms that buy and sell fruits and vegetables can settle commercial disputes outside of the civil court system.

The sanctions include suspending the business’ PACA license and barring it from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.

PACA licenses are required for any business that buys or sells more than 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables on any given day.

Golden Rule Produce, a family-owned business, was founded as a produce stand in San Jose in 1971. It moved to its current 22,000-square-foot facility in Morgan Hill in 1983. According to the company, Golden Rule Produce has a fleet of 28 refrigerated trucks that serve more than 450 customers throughout the Bay Area.

Golden Rule Produce did not return a phone call requesting comment on the USDA fine. 

In the past three years, USDA has resolved about 3,350 PACA claims involving more than $63 million.

Local breweries gather

Twenty craft breweries will showcase their libations at various locations during the eighth annual Downtown Morgan Hill Brew Crawl Sept. 7, 1-5pm.

The event, presented by the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, includes live music and games, in addition to a variety of craft beer to taste.

Early bird tickets cost $40. Tickets include beer samples, a custom glass and passport booklet.

For information, visit bit.ly/mhbrewcrawl.

Send business news to Erik Chalhoub at [email protected]

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