Arizona tomato producer Eurofresh Farms Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, CEO Dwight Ferguson said.
Eurofresh Inc.’s reorganization filing is part of an effort to recapitalize the company, which grows tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in greenhouses, Ferguson said.
“This decision was largely taken because of the debt load the company has acquired as it has grown so rapidly in recent years,” he said. “We’re still profitable, we’re still cash positive. We just have a big debt burden we need to correct.”
The company’s Arizona growing and packaging operations employ about 1,600. There is no plan to change the Arizona head count, he said.
Eurofresh’s Arizona facilities near Willcox and Snowflake cover more than 318 acres.
Eurofresh plans to submit a plan in May and complete its financial reorganization in the third quarter, Ferguson said.
The reorganization should appear seamless to customers, he said.
Eurofresh sells branded vegetables to major retail supermarket and club store chains nationwide, he said. Tomatoes account for more than 80 percent of the company’s business.