The independent Whaling City Seafood Display Auction of New Bedford, Mass., has announced a partnership with Global Food Exchange to bring its seafood display auction to the Internet.

As a result of the partnership, buyers can buy fresh seafood online each morning from New Bedford. For New Bedford sellers and fishing vessels, the online auction will make their catch available to the widest possible audience. To facilitate the online exchange even further, Global Food Exchange will establish a grading service that will make product quality information available online to buyers.

New Bedford is the largest port, in terms of landings value, on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Eighty-six million pounds of fresh seafood, valued at 129 million dollars, passed through this port in 1999.

The announced partnership will add yet another auction to Global Food Exchange's growing daily online auction system. In June, Global Food Exchange acquired the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction (GSDA) with current annual gross transaction value in excess of 20 million dollars. More than 90 percent of fresh fish landed in Gloucester passes across the auction.

Under the terms of the agreement, Global Food Exchange will enable Whaling City to conduct auctions via the Internet using the Global Food Exchange online auction system. The Whaling City and Gloucester Seafood Display Auctions will be conducted electronically as one auction within the Global Food Exchange auction network, allowing buyers to access unprecedented quantities of fresh fish under one system and sellers the opportunity to reach an increased buyer base.

"We are pleased to be working with the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction," stated Christopher Lee, Global Food Exchange's New Bedford Director. "The fishing industry will benefit tremendously from this alliance. The integration of Global Food Exchange's online auction with the newly formed independent display auction owned and run by Richard and Ray Canastra in the city of New Bedford will enhance the openness and efficiency of the port."

"Our agreement with Whaling City Display Auction adds critical value to our marketplace auction by bringing in years of New Bedford waterfront industry knowledge and auction expertise," said Mark Moore, president and co-founder of Global Food Exchange. "Combined with our existing Gloucester Seafood Display Auction, this relationship will serve our users and the seafood industry overall, by more than doubling buyers access to product and sellers access to markets."

Auction owner Richard Canastra said of the partnership: "Our knowledge and expertise in New Bedford coupled with Global Food Exchange's proprietary technology strengthens our value proposition in the port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. With Global Food Exchange's technology, we have the ability to connect more buyers, sellers and products to the marketplace, adding value for our current customer base."

Dick Gutting, Executive Director of the National Fisheries Institute stated, "The agreement between the Whaling City Auction and our partner Global Food Exchange is an excellent example of the solid strides that are being made by Global Food Exchange and people like the Canastras to affect the seafood industry in positive ways."

About Global Food Exchange

Global Food Exchange is the leading supply chain integration provider for the food industry. Combining industry expertise and superior technology, Global Food Exchange provides seamless process and information flow from need to fulfillment. The solution increases buyer efficiency, reduces inventory and logistics costs, expands market access, and allows better category management and quicker response to changing consumer needs. A full service solution, Global Food Exchange was developed for grocery, foodservice and manufacturing companies in the perishables food industry. For more information call (404) 872-4489 or visit www.GlobalFoodExchange.com.

About Whaling City Seafood Display Auction

Richard and Raymond Canastra established the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction in 1994. Since establishment the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction has become the seafood auction for the port of New Bedford and southern New England. Prior to the establishment of the seafood display auction, the market for the purchase and sale of fresh fish in New Bedford was inefficient, with transactions proving difficult for both buyers and sellers. The Canastra's auction changed this, providing an orderly open market allowing fishermen exposure to fair market prices for their product and buyers access to more predictable supplies of seafood.