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Fleming interim CEO Pete Willmott said on yesterday that the wholesaler has had to delay shipments to some of its retail customers, and will have to delay more shipments as manufacturers postpone deliveries to it in the wake of the company’s filing for bankruptcy last week.

Willmott told Fleming customers in a letter that they need to be prepared for more glitches in the supply chain until the company irons out its financing so it can make necessary payments to manufacturers, even though its has more than more than $100 million in cash receipts.

“As a result, there might be a short delay in completely filling all of your orders as we refill our pipeline," Willmott wrote.

Fleming filed for bankruptcy protection after losing a $4.5 billion contract to supply food to discount retailer Kmart Corp., which is believed to be on the verge of emerging from bankruptcy.

However, it gets more complicated. As reported last Friday on MNB, a number of produce and packaged goods vendors are saying that Fleming owes them as much as $100 million – and that the bankrupt wholesaler cannot use that money for any purpose other than paying them because the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act of 1930 says the funds are to be held in trust.
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