Borden Dairy Co.—one of the oldest dairy companies in the United States—recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the District of Delaware. The company filed for bankruptcy reorganization after being unable to afford its debt load and fulfill its pension obligations to its employees due to both the rising cost of milk and tumbling consumption of dairy in recent years. “Despite our numerous achievements during the past 18 months, the company continues to be impacted by the rising cost of raw milk and market challenges facing the dairy industry,” Borden Dairy CEO Tony Sarsam said. The company—which has been in operation since 1857—reported a net loss of $42.4 million between January 2019 and early December 2019, according to its bankruptcy filing. Borden Dairy is known for its mascot, Elsie the Cow, who has been referenced in various ways in American culture since Borden introduced her in the 1930s, including as the mate of “Elmer the Bull”—the mascot of Elmer’s glue. The company expects its bankruptcy reorganization to help it to continue operations. Borden’s filing comes shortly after that of Dean Foods—the largest producer of dairy milk in the US—which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.
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