April 18, 2017 By The Portage Daily Graphic
April 18, 2017, Portage la Prairie, Man. – The bankruptcy of Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products (CPGPP) means more than the loss of a dozen jobs and the facility closure, it may also have potentially devastating consequences for many vegetable growers and related business and sectors according to the Vegetable Growers Association of Manitoba.
The Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba filed for bankruptcy protection in late March.
Receivership records show that the company owes $9 million, $6 million to secured creditors and $3 million to unsecured creditors.
In January of 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) certified the CPGPP plant as an aseptic processing facility. But already financiers were supporting CPGPP, which between 2012 and 2016 received about $3 million in government loans and grants.
Secured creditors are mostly investors, such as the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund, which is owed $1.7 million, but the list of unsecured creditors is much longer. It includes trucking companies, one that has been expanding it is believed to handle additional CPGPP business as the company was to expand from 12 employees to 60.
According to the Vegetable Growers Association of Manitoba, the bankruptcy could be devastating for vegetable farmers who invested in their operations to supply additional demand from Canadian Prairie Garden.
Many of Manitoba’s vegetable farmers have invested sizeable dollars in equipment, buildings and other related infrastructure to help CPGPP meet its capacity requirements. In addition to these losses, local farmers are owed a significant amount of money for the vegetables they have delivered to CPGPP in 2016.
The facility housed breakthrough technology leveraging direct steam injection to achieve full cook/sterilization in four to 20 seconds. The fresh, raw vegetable puree the plant produced using products grown by local farmers was without compare. Its vegetable purees are low in acid and contain no additional ingredients or preservatives.
Farmers across Manitoba were contracted by CPGPP to grow a variety of vegetables to meet its facility’s current and projected demands. Some of these contracts included vegetables such as carrots, squash, kale and pumpkins. READ MORE
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