Largest e-marketplace for food industry formed.

Some 49 of the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies have joined forces to form what is billed as the largest business-to-business e-marketplace for the food industry --

The new company will be the first of its kind owned by the consumer products industry. Its investors include The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, Inc., The Procter & Gamble Company, Sara Lee Corporation, and Unilever, NV. Transora's services will span the entire supply chain, from suppliers to manufacturers to retailers, and provide procurement, vendor and product catalogs, online order management, supply chain collaboration and financial services. The company's goal is to provide other more strategic services, including collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment between manufacturers and retailers.

"It has been truly remarkable to witness an industry come together so rapidly to create a vision for transforming our current business practices," said Judy Sprieser, executive vice president of Sara Lee and chairwoman of the steering committee that led to the exploratory phase of the Transora initiative. "We are well-financed and strategically positioned to shape our own destiny in a way other B2B exchanges cannot."

"A key benefit of our services will be in improving the speed and liquidity of transactions for participating companies," said James Chestnut, executive vice president with Coca-Cola. "Transora will offer a single connection to a broad array of services and exchanges on the Internet, providing ease of connectivity and associated cost efficiencies." signs B2B partnership with Sonoco., one of the leading net markets serving the packaging industry, has signed a letter of intent with packaging giant Sonoco to form a business-to-business partnership.

The partnership will initially include a listing of four Sonoco product lines on's recently formed Purchasing Exchange. "Sonoco was looking for fast entry into e-commerce," said Terry Poplava, Sonoco's directory of e-business. " was a logical choice for our business because of the strong model they have in place."