Major Food Service Companies Unite On B2B Exchange

Compiled By Jonathan Katz Cargill Inc., Sysco Corp., Tyson Foods Inc., and McDonald's Corp. announced July 25 that they have formed electronic Foodservice Network (eFS Network), which will operate in Chicago as an independent B2B marketplace to facilitate sales and purchases in the foodservice industry. The alliance will feature public exchange between participants in the foodservice industry and private exchanges, which will enable customer-supplier interactions. Initially, the exchange will focus on U.S. and Canadian foodservice distribution, a $150 billion industry. "This is unlike typical B2B arrangements we've seen so far because it includes all segments of the foodservice industry, from food manufacturers and distributors to restaurant chain operators," says Wayne Wolf, vice president/corporate strategy in charge of B2B digital efforts at McDonald's. eFS Network executives expect additional food industry corporations to join the partnership in the near future. "Our conversations with potential investors and participants indicate that interest in eFS Network is very strong," says Robert Lumpkins, vice chairman of Cargill.

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