Bankruptcy judge allows Michigan fruit processor to stay open

September 12, 2017

Cherry Growers Inc. will be able to continue operating under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition while it reorganizes its business operations, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Scott Dales ruled on Friday, Sept. 8.

According to, the order came after the processor and its bankers assured Dales that it would not burn through cash that may be owed to growers under a federal law that prevents processors from defaulting on their debts to growers.

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 company, which processes cherries and applies, employs about 75 workers.

According to

“Nels Nyblad, a second-generation grower from Casnovia in northern Kent County, attended the hearing as one of the cooperative’s members and largest creditors. Cherry Growers owes his farm more than $150,000, said Nyblad, who grows apples, cherries, peaches and plums.

Nyblad said he and other growers want to see Cherry Growers continue to operate even if they can’t pay off their $16.8 million in debt.

In its Chapter 11 petition on Thursday, Aug. 31, Cherry Growers President and CEO Eric MacLeod said the company needed to reorganize “due to a failure to recognize in a timely manner that a change in its core business model was necessary.”

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