The deadline for produce suppliers to file claims against Allens Inc. under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act is Dec. 23, according to a calendar set by the federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization.
Known for its canned vegetable brands, which include Popeye Spinach and Veg-All, the Soliam Springs, Ark., company has between $20 million and $25 million in PACA claims against it because the statute covers fresh produce regardless of its end use.
Objections to PACA claims in the case are due Jan. 13. Judge Ben Barry set a hearing Feb. 10 to consider disputed PACA claims.
Allens Inc. officials set up a Web page — www.allens-restructuging.com — to explain reorganization plans to customers and provide details and legal forms for creditors. The company has between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors total and owes between $100 million and $500 million to them, according to the initial bankruptcy filing.
“Allens fully intends to operate our business in the ordinary course throughout this process,” said president Joshua Allen in a letter to suppliers on the Web page. “Please note that the company intends to pay for all goods and services received at its facilities after the filing date Oct. 28.”
Federal law prohibits Allens Inc. from paying any debts owed before the Oct. 28 filing, according to Allen’s letter.
“Creditors will be able to file a claim for any pre-petition amounts owed to them. Additional information regarding the claims process will be sent to creditors as soon as it is available,” according to the statement.