Southern Produce Distributors, Faison, N.C., installed new packing lines this year. ( File photo )

Sweet potato grower-shipper Southern Produce Distributors has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with plans to restructure and continue business.

The Faison, N.C., company’s decision will allow it to “effectively handle financial burdens,” according to a news release from Southern Produce Distributors.

“The company’s operations are strong and will continue unhindered throughout the financial restructuring process,” according to the news release.

The company's CEO and chief financial officer Randy Swartz said the company plans to pay its debts.

“By utilizing the Chapter 11 financial strategy, Southern Produce will be able to quickly improve profitability, pay vendors and suppliers on a timely basis, and pay off existing debt much more expediently,” Swartz said in the release.

The company installed a new Hagan 2 computerized packing line recently to increase efficiency at its Faison warehouse.

Southern Produce, founded in 1942, isn’t the only North Carolina sweet potato grower-shipper to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year. Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co. also filed for Chapter 11 to restructure.