China Premium Food Corporation (OTCBB:CHPF) announced today the unveiling of a full-service B2B food portal for China. The portal will be in the demo and beta stages until the expected launch July 1, 2000. China Premium has been active in the food industry in China since 1993 and will combine the established food distribution business of Mandarin Fine Foods with its B2B e-commerce portal to provide a powerful food purchasing and sales tool for a wide range of commercial consumers and suppliers in the food industry. Simultaneous with this announcement, the Company has completed the finalization and execution of a definitive agreement to acquire Mandarin Fine Foods Co., one of the largest food distribution companies to four and five star hotels in China. These hotels include the Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Westin, Hilton, Shangri-La and the other major international chains. This acquisition, coupled with the Company’s wholly-owned Distribution Company subsidiary, gives the Company the bricks and mortar, old economy infrastructure necessary to efficiently service the B2B food portal.
Mr. Li Zhi Yun, Mandarin Fine Foods’ founder and General Manager, will join China Premium in an Executive position Food Services and continue to oversee the operations of Mandarin Fine Foods, one of the most successful premium quality food distribution companies in China.
The B2B portal will be a complete food distribution channel from the origin supplier into China. Through the portal, Chinese institutions can procure Western quality products directly from the site. US food manufacturers can register to sell their products into China and can utilize China Premium’s established infrastructure in China to offer a full service food platform. The Company’s Chinese infrastructure includes its subsidiary, a distribution company in the Wai Gao Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, that facilitates import/export transactions, including tax and legal compliance, customs and foreign currency exchange and established distribution routes.
B2B e-commerce this year in Asia is expected to hit nearly $30 billion, according to The Gartner Group, and could top $1 trillion in 2004. China is the fastest growing economy in the world and one of its first markets that has been advancing is the quality and abundance of food items available, and this trend should only strengthen with WTO on the horizon. The e-marketplace will shorten the supply chain and more sellers can offer their products to China, through this “efficient middleman.” Additionally, although many Chinese consumers have yet to make their way to the Internet, most businesses in China are online and can easily access a B to B portal.
Mr. Roy Warren, CEO of China Premium, said, “To our knowledge, this is the first B2B portal launched that is specifically focused on bringing food products to China. We have very strategically followed a business model that has first established a firm bricks and mortar presence in major metropolitan areas of China prior to the launch of the B2B portal. We felt that it was too premature to launch the B2B platform earlier, without the immediate means to service the demand that we expect from the portal. We feel that the B2B platform will offer a streamlined process for Chinese institutions, hotels and the like, to efficiently procure premium-quality foods and makes available to US food producers a clear-cut route and distribution system in China.”
Mr. Steve Langley, COO-China of China Premium, said, “We will greatly improve the efficiencies of the food institutions in procuring products in China. The efficiencies gained by these food institutions will be significant as they are currently `heavy personnel and heavy paper’ and will provide management the tools to better control costs. Both food institutions and the retail supermarkets will embrace our B2B platform.”
China Premium holds a 52% interest in the Hangzhou Meilijian Dairy in Hangzhou, China, the largest dairy in this urban area of 6 million people. The company is also in negotiations to structure licensing agreements with principal dairies in China’s top ten cities to produce its proprietary Looney Tunes(TM) brand of flavored milks and drinkable yogurts. China Premium is importing private-labeled snack crackers manufactured by Lance, Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCE), which are branded with the Looney Tunes(TM) brand and characters. China Premium may additionally leverage its Looney Tunes(TM) license in China to brand additional products. The Company has several seasoned food industry executives and directors, both in the U.S. and China. The Western Chinese management have had tenures at IBP Inc., Hormel Foods, Cargill Inc., and Price Waterhouse Coopers, and in the U.S. past associations include Schering-Plough, Dean Foods, Farm Fresh, Cumberland Farms, etc.
Looney Tunes is a licensed trademark of Warner Bros. c 2000.
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