Dairy.com, the leading independent online dairy commodities exchange, has announced the launch of its new Dairy.com Cheese Exchange.

Scott Sexton, president of the Dallas-based company, commented: "After successfully trading over US$150m in fluid commodities this year on the Dairy.com Fluid Exchange, we are excited to launch the new Dairy.com Cheese Exchange.

"For the first time in the history of the dairy industry, a single market exists for trading any type or grade of cheese at any time."

Founded by a consortium of industry members and currently boasting member companies that represent the majority of the US' annual dairy sales, Dairy.com explained that its cheese exchange offers members the benefits of 24 hour trading of any cheese type, grade, quantity or age. Internet trading reduces the time and costs involved in buying and selling commodities, while increasing market visibility.

Dairy.com has already secured the support of 30 firms for the new e-exchange. The firms, which include Kraft Foods, Land O'Lakes, Schreiber Foods, Glanbia Foods, ConAgra Dairy Foods and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), represent over US$18bn in annual cheese sales and, between them, they have registered more than 120 plants for trading.

Mark Korsmeyer, vice president for sales and marketing at DFA, commented: "Until now, trading cheese has meant calling, faxing, or emailing numerous current or targeted customers, hoping that one or some of them have a need for your products.

"[But with] the new Dairy.com Cheese Exchange, DFA can post a load to the exchange in seconds and offer it not just to our existing trading network, but the entire industry."

Members of the fluid exchange currently registered to trade cream, milk, and condensed skim will be able to obtain free membership of the cheese exchange. Otherwise, membership will cost companies an annual fee of US$1000.

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