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Borden Dairy: One of America's oldest milk producers files for bankruptcy

Christian Fernsby |
Borden Dairy, one of America's oldest and largest dairy companies, filed for bankruptcy.

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Borden said it filed for bankruptcy because it cannot afford its debt load and its pension obligations. It has 3,300 employees, 22% of whom are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

The company said it also has been hurt by broader industry trends, including a 6% drop in overall US milk consumption since 2015. Borden noted that more than 2,700 family dairy farms went out of business last year, and 94,000 have stopped producing milk since 1992. With the wholesale cost of milk rising due to fewer suppliers and retail milk prices weaker due to lower consumption, the margins for milk processors like Borden have suffered, the company said in its filing.

"Despite our numerous achievements during the past 18 months, the company continues to be impacted by the rising cost of raw milk and market challenges facing the dairy industry," said CEO Tony Sarsam in a statement. He said the company has discussed "a range of potential strategic plans" with its lenders. But it had been unable to reach an agreement with them as to what to do next.

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