Citing Swine Flu, Pork Producer Goes Bankrupt

A North Carolina pork producer has filed for bankruptcy after complaints from unpaid vendors and falling pork consumption tied to swine flu fears.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Coharie Farms of Clinton filed for bankruptcy and will appear in court Tuesday. Coharie owner Anne Faircloth says she plans to liquidate the company and some of its 170 employees will be laid off.

As many as 30 farmers complained earlier this month that Coharie hadn't paid for grain deliveries. Coharie's debts to various vendors top $3 million.

The company blamed losses on a 2008 jump in grain prices, a $20 drop in hog prices and unwarranted fears about swine flu driving down pork consumption. Coharie has lost $17 million this year.

North Carolina has the second largest pork industry in the country.

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