Amphire Solutions, Inc., a Ventro(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: VNTR) operating company and the leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions for the foodservice industry, today announced alliances with leading industry manufacturers totaling over $20 billion. ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Heinz Foodservice, and Rich Products have signed Supplier Council Founding Member agreements with Amphire, the only end-to-end supply chain solution currently processing transactions for the $150 billion foodservice industry. These suppliers have joined Amphire to participate in the development of the supplier-distributor exchange and accelerate the adoption of an integrated B2B e-commerce solution connecting foodservice suppliers with distributors.

Today’s announcement follows Amphire’s September 11, 2000 announcement of alliances with distributor partners Gordon Foodservice, IJ Company, Reinhart Food Service, and Shamrock Foods. MBM Foodservice, the nation’s largest systems distributor, has also signed an agreement with Amphire. These distributors, combined with existing relationships with the foodservice industry’s buying groups — Foresight Partners, Premier Foodservice, and Golbon, represent over $35 billion in combined foodservice volume and 535 distributors internationally.

“Participating in Amphire Solutions’ supply chain exchange helps General Mills to streamline its foodservice supply chain while strengthening relationships with independent distributors and their customers,” said Jeff Harmening, Director of New Business Ventures for General Mills Foodservice.

“Heinz Foodservice is pleased to be a founding member of the Amphire Supplier Council,” said Bill VanDuzer, Vice President of Sales, Heinz Foodservice. “We look forward to working with Amphire and our distributor partners to realize the full potential of foodservice B2B e-commerce.”

“We recognize the tremendous value that these industry leaders represent in developing our complete supply chain solution for the foodservice industry,” said Mark Barnekow, President and CEO of Amphire Solutions. “Their acknowledgement of Amphire as a leading supply chain solution for the foodservice industry is a great accomplishment for Amphire and helps begin the process of integrating many of the industry’s largest and most respected companies.”

Amphire’s supply chain solution is capable of uniting 3,600 distributors, 800,000 operators and 5,000 suppliers in the $150 billion foodservice industry’s first end-to-end e-commerce solution. Amphire provides distributors with distributor-branded storefronts for restaurant and other foodservice operators to easily and conveniently place their orders. Additionally, Amphire’s distributor-supplier exchange enables distributors to conduct business electronically with suppliers. The Amphire solution benefits foodservice supply chain trading partners through more efficient communication, convenience, ease of use, and reduced errors.

About ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foodservice Company is North America’s largest foodservice manufacturer with such well known brands as Lamb Weston, Hunt’s, Wesson, Butterball, and Healthy Choice, to name a few. ConAgra Foodservice Company is an operating company of ConAgra Foods, Inc., a $27 billion food company supplying products to both the foodservice and retail channels. For more information, visit

About General Mills

General Mills is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products, with annual sales of over $6 billion. Major U.S. businesses include Big G cereals; Betty Crocker dessert, side dish and dinner mixes; snack products; Gold Medal flour; and YOPLAIT and Colombo yogurts. The company’s expanding international operations including wholly-owned businesses in Canada, Mexico and China, a snacks joint venture with PepsiCo in Europe, and a worldwide cereal joint venture with Nestle. For more information, visit

About Heinz

With sales over US$9 billion, H.J. Heinz Company is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded foods to foodservice establishments and supermarkets. Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries, offering more than 57 hundred varieties. Among the company’s famous brands are Heinz, Chef Francisco, Domani Frozen Pasta, StarKist, Ore-Ida, Weight Watchers, and The Budget Gourmet. For more Information, visit

About Rich Products Corporation

Founded in 1945, Rich’s is one of the United States’ largest family-owned food companies, with annual sales of $1.6 billion and more than 7,000 associates worldwide. Rich’s has regional offices, subsidiaries and manufacturing plants located in 53 countries including Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, China and Italy. Rich’s is known around the world as a leading supplier and solutions provider to the foodservice and in-store bakery segments, specializing in bakery and dessert products and field technical support services. For more information, visit

About Amphire Solutions

Amphire’s e-commerce solutions focus on streamlining the procurement of goods for the foodservice market. Amphire was formed by Ventro Corporation, to target the unique dynamics of the industry’s supply chain, in which distributors deliver food and supplies to restaurants and other foodservice operators. The industry is significant in size but highly fragmented, with thousands of suppliers, distributors and operators nationwide, making it an ideal target for the efficiencies of a B2B e-commerce solution. For more information, visit

About Ventro

Ventro is a leading builder of and service provider to B2B marketplaces. Ventro offers a variety of products and services through its complete marketplace solution that take online B2B marketplaces from concept to liquidity. Ventro marketplaces include Chemdex, ProMedix, Broadlane, Industria Solutions, Amphire Solutions, MarketMile, and Ventro Life Sciences Europe. For more information about Ventro, visit