Sep 5, 2017
Michigan fruit processor files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Cherry Growers Inc. (CGI) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Headquartered in Grawn near Traverse City, CGI is a 78-year-old cooperative in which ownership is shared by 53 Michigan cherry and apple growers.

The fruit processor employs about 75 workers who just completed processing this year’s cherry harvest and were set to begin processing apples on Sept. 5, Eric MacLeod, president and general manager, said on Friday, Sept. 1.

CGI has “fought to overcome setbacks due to a failure to recognize in a timely matter (sic) that a change in its core business model was necessary,” according to a news release on Friday, Sept. 1.

According to mlive.com, CGI’s problems were “exacerbated by the 2012 crop failure and the necessary exit from processing apples after 2013,” the company said.

From the article:

“The setbacks have been addressed with an aggressive campaign that included an alliance with a major value-added branded company and untiring efforts to increase co-manufacturing opportunities with our capable and gifted management group and extensive available infrastructure,” the announcement said.

In its Chapter 11 petition, the company said it had total assets of $8.1 million and liabilities of $16.8 million, including $9.4 million owed to secured creditors.

CGI said it hopes to continue operating while meeting its obligations to its creditors while it “makes arrangements for a re-alignment of assets with other parties.”

“CGI looks forward to emerging from Chapter 11 successfully and thus continue to meet its commitment to its owners, employees and partners as it has since 1939,” the company said.

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