The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Fresh Harvest International Inc., Weston, Fla., for violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, according to a news release.


As a result, the company cannot operate in the produce industry until Sept. 16, 2011, and then only if it obtains a PACA license.


The company failed to make full payment of $655,285.39 for 318 lots of produce, which it distributed during the period of July through September 2007.


The company’s sole principal, George Ellis, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Sept. 16, 2010, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.