efoodmanager (www.efoodmanager.com), Europe's leading business-to-business (b2b) marketplace and technology provider for the food industry, is announcing today the signing of its outline agreement with Markant AG, one of Europe's largest trading co-operatives, whereby Markant will use efoodmanager's e-commerce solution "Company Marketplace."

Markant Germany represents approximately 18,000 German member outlets with a turnover of DM 60.5 billion and a German food industry market share of over 17 percent. Initially, the solution is to be implemented with Markant Germany. Further European expansion is being considered at a later date.

Markant believes that its Internet involvement with efoodmanager will result in significant time and resource savings which will be made available to affiliated members direct in the form of a unique sales proposition. Furthermore, the platform is to serve as a foundation for new innovative and comprehensive services.

As part of its agreement with Markant, efoodmanager is to develop and then implement a wide range of integrated, Internet-based purchasing solutions. A number of efoodmanager IT service partners are to take part in this project.

The efoodmanager system architecture uses the Intershop's enfinity development environment. The efoodmanager platform, based on modern Java and XML (Enterprise JavaBeans) standards, provides an open, scaleable architecture. In conjunction with Enterprise JavaBeans, the efoodmanager platform can be easily tailored to the requirements of individual companies and is designed specifically to the requirements of the European food industry. The open, scaleable architecture of the efoodmanager platform enables Markant to communicate and interact with other national and international marketplaces. The open B2B online marketplace (www.efoodmanager.com) can easily communicate and integrate with Markant's e-commerce solution.

efoodmanager's marketplace and Supply Chain Management Technology, combined with a series of integrated, individualized solutions, will enable Markant to combine the resources of many independent wholesale and retail trading companies and provide an effective alternative in the marketplace. This e-commerce solution will provide members with the benefits of cost savings and collaboration.

Joel Oberman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of efoodmanager, commented: "With its Internet-based purchasing and sales solution, efoodmanager has the potential to optimise all aspects of strategic trading and provide Markant with an all-important unique sales proposition."

Henry Taubald, Managing Director of Markant Handels und Service GmbH, said: "We decided in favour of efoodmanager AG on the strength of its extensive knowledge of the food industry. The system is extremely open and scaleable. It allows all existing IT solutions to be integrated and the entire purchasing process to be optimised."

Jan Stenger, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of efoodmanager, said: "We are delighted Markant has chosen our Company Marketplace product and efoodmanager as its technology and e-commerce service provider. Unparalleled, multilingual product catalogues in the main European languages and comprehensive services complete our product range. Our platform is one of the few systems worldwide with this functionality ready for immediate use."

About efoodmanager AG

The efoodmanager system and efoodmanager's website is divided into three main areas: the Open Marketplace where buyers and sellers can trade openly or anonymously amongst themselves; Individual Company Marketplaces where buyers trade only with pre-selected parties and their own catalogues and the Services area where buyers and sellers can take advantage of the logistics, packaging, insurance, financial services, information, business directories and food produce directories managed by efoodmanager.

The Open fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood marketplaces went online in July this year. The marketplaces for meat, poultry, dairy, pre-finished and branded products will be introduced later in the year.

efoodmanager focuses on the procurement needs of supermarket chains, manufacturers, producers and bulk buyers - as well as the selling needs of suppliers and traders, including the inter-trading between traders. Initially free to join, efoodmanager will generate its revenues through transaction fees on products and services sourced via the site, as well as fees for building and hosting the Individual Company Marketplaces.

efoodmanager currently employs people from across the food, e-Commerce and management consultancy industries, and has offices in France, Germany, UK and Spain. Please visit www.efoodmanager.com

About Markant AG

The purpose of Markant trade co-operation is to ensure the autonomy, independence and future of medium-sized companies. Markant combines the resources of many independent wholesale and retail trading companies to benefit from member co-operation and provide an effective alternative in the marketplace. The focus of this co-operation is on purchasing, pooled payment, guaranteed payment, brand marks, logistics, marketing, communication and financing.

Markant Germany's current membership is approximately 100. It represents competitive private-sector companies and co-operatives in the wholesale and retail trade with over 18,000 outlets in all branches of the food industry. These outlets constitute a total sales area of approximately 7 million square metres and a German food industry turnover share of over 17 percent.

Markant members are located throughout Germany. No other trade organisation can provide the industry with a product sales platform that spans the whole of Germany.

Markant Germany's turnover is Euros 30 billion and the Markant Group's overall turnover for the European market is Euros 93 billion.