Today Provision X announced the opening of its beef, pork and poultry marketplace, www.provisionx.com, with initial trading beginning between 90 buyers and sellers within eight companies. This first wave of customers marks the initial stage in the development of the Provision X online community.

``We are excited to announce that customers are using our marketplace for their everyday business of buying and selling meat and poultry. We are confident that they will be pleased with the functionality available with this release,'' said Kevin Nemetz, chief executive officer of Provision X. ``We took the time to develop a fully tested business solution that we feel will help industry professionals save time and money.''

Starting today, eight companies, including five suppliers and three buyers are trading through the marketplace. The initial suppliers include Cargill Incorporated's red meat business (Excel Corporation), Farmland Foods/Farmland National Beef, Gold Kist Inc., IBP, inc., and Tyson Foods Inc., while Foodbrands America, Topco Associates Inc., and Good Source represent the purchasers. Provision X sales representatives are on-site at each company to guide users through the trading process to ensure the success of the marketplace. Initial customers include 90 participants representative of distributors, packers, processors, retail and food service businesses.

``These participants and their initial buy-in is what has gotten us to launch day,'' said Del Holzer, vice president of marketing for Provision X. ``Over the past few months, they have assisted us in identifying and incorporating functionality into the marketplace to reflect their current business needs. The step-by-step process we have gone through will eventually benefit all who use the site because we have taken every measure to ensure Provision X reflects the current culture of our industry.''

A unique characteristic of Provision X is that meat and poultry industry professionals built the marketplace to mirror the way business is currently conducted. Not only will the Provision X marketplace allow more time for interpersonal interaction between suppliers and buyers offline, but buyers also will continue to have one-on-one relationships with their existing supplier online. Therefore, the online marketplace maintains the private relationship between individual buyers and sellers.

``What makes our exchange attractive is that our online customers will still have a single point of contact with each company they do business, just like they do today,'' said Holzer. ``Business relationships, order amounts, contract terms - all information pertaining to transactions is kept between the buyer and the seller. That will continue online at Provision X because our marketplace keeps that private pipeline of information intact.''

The most significant benefit of the online marketplace is the speed at which information is available and delivered. Conducting business through Provision X will streamline the process by eliminating the numerous exchange of phone calls, faxes and e-mails encountered in today's meat and poultry buying process. Transactions that once took a day to complete will now be possible in minutes. Customers believe this improved efficiency will allow for more interpersonal interaction among buyers and sellers.

``Selling meat through Provision X is another way for Excel to provide an innovative solution to our customers,'' said Bill Buckner, president of Excel Corp. ``There are two cornerstones in the meat and poultry industry - efficiency and relationships. Provision X preserves our culture and transfers it to an online marketplace to help us improve in both areas. We believe that this marketplace will be embraced as not only an information source but an essential tool to increase efficiency and cut transaction costs on a daily basis.''

Provision X is a neutral marketplace open to the entire meat and poultry industry. Because the marketplace so closely emulates the industry, there is a substantial amount of data input and system integration required before customers join the marketplace. For these reasons, the registration process may take up to four weeks. To make the registration process easier, Provision X representatives will work closely with prospective customers to complete the necessary steps.

``Provision X is a tool for the meat and poultry industry that enables buyers and sellers to determine how they want the marketplace to assist them in their everyday business,'' said Holzer. ``We have unique solutions for each customer. They have the freedom to make the choice that fits their individual needs.''

Representatives began visiting prospective customers in January to provide in-person demonstrations of the Provision X marketplace to showcase the functions available, including buying, selling, order confirmation and special offerings listing. Provision X will work with their lighthouse customers to identify additional prospective customers and will continue to meet with companies interested in using the marketplace to create even more liquidity.

``Previous meat and poultry exchanges didn't have sufficient product availability to make participation worthwhile,'' said Tom Padgett, director of procurement for Foodbrands. ``Provision X, at its inception, already has key players involved to provide liquidity within the marketplace - that's what made us sit up and take notice.''

Over the course of the next year, teams from Provision X and Model N, the exchange's technology partner, will continue to develop added functionality that will be built into the marketplace. Release 2.0 will consist of improvements in areas that the lighthouse customers identified during testing. Future product releases will be based on feedback from users trading on the site.

For more information about trading on Provision X, prospective customers should contact a representative at sales@provisionx.com or visit www.provisionx.com for a product demonstration.

About Provision X

Provision X is the first online marketplace of Commerce Ventures LLC and operates as an open, full-service, neutral web-based exchange focused on buyers and sellers of beef, pork and poultry products and related services. Using cutting-edge technology, buyers and sellers are able to do tasks such as create orders and quotes, check order status, identify price lists, create reports, track order history, check catalogs and receive special offerings. These real-time solutions empower users to determine their own path and configure their marketplace to reflect their business.