Eclipse Berry Farms has filed for bankruptcy, joining a growing list of Ventura County strawberry operators facing difficulties.
Eclipse is headquartered in Los Angeles, but has growing operations in Oxnard, Salinas and Mexico. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 11, according to a story on The Packer website, which covers agriculture.
The story quoted a company representative saying that Eclipse will continue to operate while in Chapter 11. Court documents listed more than 200 creditors and liabilities of more than $50 million, The Packer said.
The biggest creditor is Ventura Strawberry Farms Inc. in Calabasas with about $8 million. Ventura Strawberry is listed as a part owner of Eclipse.
Eclipse isn’t the only Ventura County grower facing hardship. In July, Hidden Valley Berries in Ventura told state officials it would close its Yamamoto Ranch strawberry operations in Oxnard “due to economic reasons and the loss of its lease.” The closure was expected to result in layoffs for about 42 employees. In August, Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village told the state it planned to lay off 172 workers at its strawberry operations in Oxnard.