Home­stead clos­ing

The Glengarry News - - News -

The farm­ing com­mu­nity has been shaken by the news that Home­stead Or­gan­ics, a leader in the field for the last three decades, is clos­ing April 13.

“Excessive com­pe­ti­tion, rapid ex­pan­sion costs, debt and a dozen other fac­tors over­came us,” the Ber­wick-based firm says on its web page.

In ad­di­tion to the loss of 18 jobs, the clo­sure means that many farm­ers will suf­fer fi­nan­cial losses and that many or­ganic live­stock op­er­a­tors will be look­ing for a new sup­plier.

“We are very sad for this turn of events and we hope that your farm, busi­ness, and home can ad­just to the many op­tions avail­able in the or­ganic mar­ket,” Home­stead says.

Pres­i­dent Tom Man­ley says he is do­ing his best to re­duce the losses faced by his sup­pli­ers.

“For those farm­ers and sup­pli­ers where we owe money, we sin­cerely apol­o­gize for the debt we are leav­ing. Tom is work­ing very hard to col­lect ac­counts re­ceiv­able and liq­ui­date in­ven­tory and as­sets in or­der to send you as much money as pos­si­ble. A liq­ui­da­tion trustee will be ap­pointed and will con­tact you in about three weeks to con­firm your ac­count bal­ance. The trustee will com­plete the liq­ui­da­tion of as­sets and dis­trib­ute the mon­eys on a pro­rated ba­sis,” the web page mes­sage reads.

Mr. Man­ley had taken over the com­pany from his fa­ther in 1997. Since that time Home­stead ex­panded to Mor­ris­burg and Se­bringville, near Strat­ford.

While the Ber­wick and Mor­ris­burg prop­er­ties will be of­fered for sale soon, the Se­bringville mill will be taken over by new own­ers “very soon.”

Home­stead had been rec­og­nized for its pro­mo­tion of or­ganic agri­cul­ture. In fact, it may have be­come a vic­tim of its own suc­cess, as the grow­ing sec­tor at­tracted ma­jor com­pa­nies with deep pock­ets.

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