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Leading National Trade Association Announces E-Commerce Partnership with .Com

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

The nation’s oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association – the American Meat Institute (AMI) – today announced an exclusive partnership with a leading on-line meat exchange, Food USA.com. This partnership will bring on-line business-to-business trading opportunities to the global meat and poultry industry,
its customers and suppliers – trade that is currently valued at hundreds of billions of dollars.

“We believe we are on the leading edge of a significant new trend of non-profit organizations partnering with the .com sector,” said AMI President & CEO J. Patrick Boyle. The arrangement includes financial and equity positions for AMI and its members.

AMI, which represents manufacturers of 70 percent of the $100 billion U.S. meat and turkey industry, this week formed the partnership with Madison, WI-based FoodUSA.com in order to provide instant, cost-efficient, on-line business trading
opportunities to the meat and poultry industry.

FoodUSA.com operates as a simple bid/ask system, providing market information for traders to make informed purchasing and selling decisions. The service also provides data-metric tools which help companies evaluate and enhance their buying and
selling performance against the market itself. FoodUSA.com integrates its services with customers’ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs to address individual Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) and/or Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) initiatives. The FoodUSA.com site also provides up-to-the-second news and information affecting the meat industry.

FoodUSA.com will launch its service on April 12, 2000. The exchange and its value-added services will be open to stakeholders at every point of the meat and poultry supply chain — wholesalers, supermarkets, processors, restaurants and foodservice institutions, brokers, traders, exporters and international customers.

According to Bob Gielissen, president and COO of FoodUSA.com, “Meat and poultry are natural fits for an electronic, internet-based exchange given the market’s size and fragmentation. Because we’re dealing with a perishable product, efficiency is of the essence. Putting buyers and sellers together through FoodUSA.com is certain to decrease transaction and
delivery time, while bringing costs down.”

Gielissen added, “We are completely dedicated to the meat and poultry industry. Our sales and facilitation teams together have more than 400 years of industry experience, and we have a number of 30-plus year veterans on our board of directors and advisory board. Our objective is a system that is tailored precisely to the needs of the meat and poultry industry.”

In addition to the core meat exchange, AMI will be utilizing value added services provided by FoodUSA.com and its partners, including freight and warehousing logistics, private food inspection services, on-line credit programs and product tracking from producers to customers.

The exchange will further allow U.S. meat and poultry companies to become major suppliers of quality products internationally. FoodUSA.com will assist AMI and its members with export logistics ranging from the necessary documentation and regulations to the actual transportation of meat products. These added services will be available to AMI members at a discounted rate.

"Our alliance with FoodUSA.com takes advantage of the increased productivity and greater efficiency e-commerce offers, bringing down the cost of doing business, while expanding new markets worldwide for our members, “ Boyle said.

U.S. meat and poultry exports have been one of the bright spots for the industry with more than nine billion pounds of meat and poultry valued at $6.5 billion projected to be exported in 2000. Meat exports have experienced a three hundred percent volume growth since 1990, while poultry exports have seen five hundred percent growth since 1990.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

FoodUSA.com was founded as a .com company in 1999. An on-line exchange for the spot meat market offering facilitated trading and a host of information and other value-added services designed to lead the meat industry into the cost-effective world of e-business, FoodUSA.com uses the same bid/ask system in place today. Products are traded on FoodUSA.com at open
market prices, without intermediary activity adding time and unnecessary costs. FoodUSA.com thus increases business opportunities for participants, while decreasing non-value added costs. In addition to its core exchange, FoodUSA.com provides an array of resources packaged together to provide a total solution for the meat industry. These include up-to-the-minute news affecting the industry, links to industry sites, research articles from leading industry experts and a directory of companies participating in the exchange. http://www.FoodUsa.com

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Tom O'Connell, FoodUSA.com
Chief Marketing Officer

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