The ecFood division of ecIndustries, a pioneer in web-based sourcing solutions, announced Friday (7 September) that it purchased Master Dairies, Inc, a buying group representing eight member companies operating 27 processing plants throughout the United States and Canada. The purchase of Master Dairies will bring annual revenues of $125 million to ecFood and provide the member companies of Master Dairies with state-of-the-art, online purchasing services designed specifically for the food and beverage industry.

"Master Dairies' mission has been to combine its members' purchasing power to obtain efficient and competitive pricing for good and services," said There du Pont, Board of Director of Master Dairies and Vice President of Wawa, Inc. "ecFood is a recognized expert and having them buy our group is a progressive business decision which will bring the rapid adoption of online purchasing to our members."

Founded 36 years ago, Master Dairies' current membership includes the following companies; Anderson Erickson Dairy Co., Borden Dairy, Wawa, Inc., Shamrock Foods, Wessanen USA Dairies, Marcus Dairy, Southern Belle Dairy Company, and Wilcox Farms. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the Master Dairies buying group will source food ingredients, direct materials and packaging using ecFood's online sourcing and specification management tools. The items will include vanilla, orange juice concentrate, fruit drink bases, fuel, milk cartons, cleaning chemicals, laboratory supplies, shrink film and many other direct and indirect materials.

``The purchase of Master Dairies further advances ecFood's strategy to focus on bringing e-commerce and e-sourcing to middle market companies, food manufacturers and processors,'' said Dave Laukat, CEO of ecFood. "ecFood is continually refining its professional services and increasing the variety of items sourced through our site. With this purchase, ecFood will rapidly increase its revenue stream while expanding its customer base. We anticipate bringing greater business opportunity to the benefit of both buyers and suppliers."

ecFood currently provides online transaction and membership based group buying services to over 40 industry leaders from several segments of the food industry. These segments include major consumer brand manufacturers, processing manufacturers, bakeries, dairies, foodservice, retailers, cooperatives and buying groups. These customers have effectively adapted ecFood's online and off-line sourcing services to meet a variety of purchasing challenges. The services offered by ecFood include demand aggregation, specification management, auctions, RFP and RFQ.

About ecFood

ecFood is a pioneer in bringing web-enabled sourcing software tools and services to the industrial food sector. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, ecFood combines substantial food and beverage industry knowledge with advanced e-commerce technology. We provide online methods that reflect real world purchasing practices. ecSourcing, our suite of sourcing and bidding solutions, takes the "best practices" of the industrial purchasing system and blends them with the inherent efficiencies and savings of the new economy. ecFood is a privately held company, which has received funding from Redleaf Group (www.redleaf.com) and Swander Pace Capital (www.spcap.com). For more information, visit www.ecFood.com or call 408/566-6130.