Embattled pork producer files for bankruptcy

Posted November 10, 2009 8:38 a.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2009 8:55 a.m. EST

— Coharie Farms, the pork production company owned by the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Lauch Faircloth, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday.

In a written statement, the company cited two years of losses attributed to the recession, fears about H1N1 when it was called the swine flu, and high feed prices driven by demand for ethanol.

Some farmers accused Coharie this growing season of withholding payment for corn.

Derrick Russ told WRAL News that Coharie Farm owes him $120,000.

Russ said he and others would store corn in Coharie silos until the price is right for them to sell.

However, this year, farmers said that Coharie Farms started selling the corn to another pork producer before paying them.

Ann Faircloth, who runs the Clinton-based farm once owned by her father, declined to comment.

The company statement said: "We fully empathize with the farmers that supply our farm with corn, many since we began as a small feed mill in 1972. They are our friends and neighbors, and we value the business arrangements that we have with them. We ask for their patience as we work through this difficult time."