U.S. Tobacco Cooperative (USTC) has filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal court to meet short-term contractual obligations to its member growers during the 2021 crop season.
“This filing provides us the best way possible to meet our short-term obligations and plan for the future,” said Oscar J. House, CEO and president of USTC, in a statement.
“In no way does this action reflect on the health of the organization and its ability to continue operations well into the future. In fact, this action is in response to the uncertainty presented by the ongoing class action litigation brought against us in 2005. Rest assured that our obligations to our member growers, employees, suppliers and customers have always been and will continue to be our highest priority and concern.”
As a result of this proactive filing, USTC intends to satisfy obligations to its more than 550 member growers and more than 200 employees. The company says suppliers and customers will continue to receive the exceptional service and products the organization is known for across the globe. “This filing will allow USTC to reorganize and restructure to honor commitments to stakeholders and ensure the organization’s sustainable future,” the company stated.