Fresno’s Zacky Farms files bankruptcy

Zacky filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, listing as much as between $50 million and $100 million in debts. Zacky filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, listing as much as between $50 million and $100 million in debts. Fresno-based poultry producer Zacky Farms has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors due to heavy debt and increasing feed costs.

The company filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, listing as much as between $50 million and $100 million in debts. Zacky emphasized that normal operations and customer service will continue without disruption, including sales, order processing and delivery.

“After careful consideration we concluded that a Chapter 11 restructuring represents the best long-term solution for Zacky,” said Keith Cooper, chief restructuring officer, in a statement. “We appreciate the ongoing loyalty and support of our employees, growers, customers and vendors.”

Western Milling in Goshen is listed in court documents as the largest of Zacky’s creditors, owed more than $6.5 million. Mid Valley Packaging in Fowler lists a claim of more than $296,000 and Vet Services, Inc. in Fresno lists a balance due of more than $286,000.

Zacky says in its filing that the poultry industry has been “under severe stress due to historically high corn and soybean meal prices.” As a result, the company has incurred significant operating losses that have drained its finances and working capital position, and the one lender willing to loan money to Zacky on an emergency basis will do so only if the company files under Chapter 11.

Zacky listed 900 local full time employees at its Fresno operation in June, according to The Business Journal’s 2012 list of food processors in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

“We remain committed to leading Zacky toward a strong and profitable future with the help of our employees, our growers, our customer base, and our vendor community,” Cooper said. “Zacky remains a viable business that is deeply committed to our employees and the customers that we serve.”