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Farmers must file claims against Pipeline Foods by Jan. 4

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will review claims against Pipeline Foods. The company based in Fridley, Minnesota, specialized in organic and non-GMO crops. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

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The Pipeline Foods LLC facility at Hope, Minnesota, paid farmers for organic and non-GMO grains in about three weeks, often with phone or email prompting. The company’s headquarters in Fridley, Minnesota, filed bankruptcy July 8, 2021, in Delaware, acquiring grain with IOUs from farmers, after making initial contact with the court and the U.S. Trustee’s office in May 2021. A security company car, parked right, was in place at the elevator offices since late July 2021. Photo taken Aug. 5, 2021, at Hope, Minnesota. Mikkel Pates / Agweek
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ST. PAUL, Minnesota – Farmers who did business with the now bankrupt Pipeline Foods have until Jan. 4, 2022, to file a claim with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to cover losses with the company.

Based in Fridley, Minnesota, Pipeline Foods LLC announced on July 8 that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Pipeline Foods specialized in organic and non-GMO crops.

Anyone who has not been paid for grain or who had grain stored at a Pipeline Foods facility in Minnesota can submit a bond claim, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said in a news release.

Pipeline Foods held a $500,000 bond with the department to help grain sellers and depositors mitigate any losses. To submit a claim:

  1. Complete a Grain Bond Proof of Claim Form . This can be found at mda.state.mn.us/grain .
  2. Include supporting evidence. This is including but not limited to scale tickets, purchase agreements, purchase receipts, non-sufficient funds checks, contracts, warehouse receipts and assembly sheets.
  3. Send in the form and supporting evidence by email to grain@state.mn.us or mail to:
    Minnesota Department of Agriculture
    Fruit, Vegetable & Grain Unit
    625 North Robert St.
    St Paul, MN 55155

The MDA will review all submitted claims and other records to determine which claims are valid. If there are multiple valid claims, a pro-rated share of the bond is calculated and dispersed.
Agweek had previously reported that the $500,000 bond may not be tapped because, according to court documents, Pipeline set up the “vast majority” of its contracts as “voluntary extension of credit” — Minnesota's term for "credit sales."

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A section in the contract said the company could pay the seller after 14 days of delivery — essentially handing over title of the grain, with just the intent to pay back later. The contracts expressly say the contracts are not covered by the bond, which covers cash sales in the case of an insolvency.

Questions on grain bond claim process can be directed to Christine Mader at 651-201-6620 or christine.mader@state.mn.us , or Nick Milanowski at 651-201-6076 or nicholas.milanowski@state.mn.us .

More information on Pipeline Foods’ bankruptcy can be found on the MDA website at: www.mda.state.mn.us/pipelinefoods .

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