Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Declared

The Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday to restructure its debts and to have time to find a new partner as a result of its long-term partner, Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc., ending its cheesemaking contract with the Cooperative.  The plant is scheduled to close starting December 10, 2020 until it can be reopened in the next 3-4 months.

Jeremy Mayer, President of the Cooperative, says ”filing for Chapter 11 is necessary to keep the 110 year old cooperative in business while it seeks a valued new partner after its long term partner, Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc, terminated its cheesemaking contract and is ending their involvement in operations this month.”

The Cooperative is hopeful that the bankruptcy court will authorize payments owed to patrons for all milk delivered prior to yesterday’s petition date.

Mayer says “regretfully I know that the Cooperative farmer-owners will have to make further sacrifices in the short run, but that Chapter 11 is the only way to keep the Cooperative alive and rebuild for a stronger future.”  He stated further that “our Cooperative family has had to make sacrifices before and each time, the Cooperative and its farmer-owners have come out stronger than before.”

Mayer noted that the Cooperative has had to focus on finding temporary milk markets for its 25 hardworking farm families who each hold membership in Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative.  Finding a new home for milk has taken a lot of time and effort; now the Co-op will turn its full attention to finding a new partner and relaunching the Cooperative’s cheese business.

“The Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative Board of Directors and patrons are thankful for the support the Co-op is getting from the Green County community and the Wisconsin dairy industry and that is helping the Cooperative stay strong and optimistic about the future,” says Mayer.

Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative is a farmer-owned Cooperative and cheese plant in Monroe, Wisconsin. The Cooperative comprises 25 dairy farmers and has been in business since 1910.