Mushroom company expects to fully settle PACA claims

01/25/2012 12:29:00 PM
Coral Beach

Rakhra Mushroom Farm Corp., Alamosa, Colo., has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy codes because of “massive energy bills,” but company officials say business is continuing on a cash basis and they expect to be back at 100% productivity by summer.

Michael Smith, general manager for Rakhra, said Jan. 24 the company plans to pay all claims filed under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

“We have already filed a stipulation and agreed to pay Coosemans (Worldwide),” Smith said.

Coosemans is listed as one of the creditors on Rakhra’s Jan. 12 bankruptcy filing. The specialty produce company filed a PACA claim Jan. 5 seeking $48,560.

According to the list of creditors filed with Rakhra’s Chapter 11 documents, the mushroom farm owes the Public Service Co. of Colorado more than $204,000.

“The main reason we had to file for the reorganization is that we have massive energy bills and the utility company wasn’t willing to work with us,” Smith said.

Packaging company Temple-Inland of Austin, Texas, is another creditor listed by Rakhra Mushroom Farm with an outstanding debt of $50,550.

“Temple-Inland is allowing us to continue doing business with them on a cash basis,” Smith said, “as are most of our customers and creditors. Everyone is a little upset, but they are all working with us.

“I’m talking to three to eight creditors each day and they all understand that we are in a reorganization and will be back to full capacity soon.”

Smith said the company usually operates with about 280 employees, but as of Jan. 24 they had laid off 45. A few other positions are being eliminated through attrition.

“We have every intention of bringing back everyone we laid off as soon as our production is back to capacity,” Smith said.

He explained that there has been some shift in the marketplace to fill the gaps left by Rakhra’s diminished capacity. However, he said he anticipates all of the company’s customers will return.

“We mainly serve the Denver area and our strength is that we offer next day delivery if they get us their orders by 11 a.m.” Smith said.



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Bill Morris    
Santa Fe N.M.  |  January, 26, 2012 at 09:08 AM

I did business with this mushroom farm for many years, in fact the company I was employed by was 1 of the very first customer the farm had. I would like to see this farm continue to suppy the fresh industry with a product that was high quality. It is too bad that the troubles this company is facing could put an end to such a needed employer in So. Colorado. I would still buy mushrooms from the farm today if they would have agreed to sell my company when I opened 15 years ago.

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