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USA: BulkMarkets.com Leads Bulk Wine Sector with Online Exchange

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BulkMarkets.com (www.BulkMarkets.com), an online global market maker for agricultural commodities sold in bulk, announced the bulk wine industry's first online trades on its premier B2B exchange. Hundreds of thousands of liters of wine from multiple continents have been bought/sold on WorldWineTrade.com, the first online sales and procurement system directly connecting wine producers and packagers around the world.

Membership applications have been streaming into WorldWineTrade.com (www.WorldWineTrade.com) since it was launched at the London Wine Fair last month. The industry's warm reception has allowed the premier bulk wine e-marketplace to focus membership on respected buyers and sellers who will help ensure a quality experience for all users. Wine producers and bottlers worldwide, including the largest in North America, South America and Western Europe, are already using the system.

"Our early success confirms that highly fragmented agricultural markets like bulk wine are ripe for e-commerce, " said BulkMarkets.com President Jeff Walker. "Highly regarded industry participants appreciate the fact that we focus on the intricacies of the producer-packager relationship instead of trying to be all things to all segments of the industry."

While first to market, WorldWineTrade.com was not hatched overnight. The company's technology, which won the e.Millennium "Best Technology" award at Comdex/Spring 2000, has been in development for almost two years and was beta tested with participants worldwide.

"Users are embracing WorldWineTrade.com because we took the time to mirror real-world trading practices rather than applying a generic business-to-business exchange model to the bulk wine industry," said BulkMarkets.com CEO Mike MacDougal. "WorldWineTrade.com enables users to negotiate directly with their customers and suppliers across the street or around the globe in a neutral, secure environment."

Walker and MacDougal designed the system architecture based on their industry experience as owners of GSV International, an international producer and trader of bulk wine, and their vision of a more efficient way to do business. WorldWineTrade.com is a one-stop shop featuring up-to-date information on the global and local markets, a 24-hour forum for real-time bids/offers, and shipping and logistics services through third-party providers.

The B2B Web strategy behind WorldWineTrade.com will soon be implemented in other targeted bulk commodity markets including juice concentrates, nuts, dried fruits and spices/herbs. BulkMarkets.com is providing industry-specific channels where producers and packagers can save time and money by executing their entire transaction online aided by real-time market data about pricing, volume, and product availability. Patent-pending technology classifies product based on numerous specifications, permits online negotiations between multiple parties, and even facilitates product sampling.

BulkMarkets.com completed its first round of institutional funding in mid-March from Bay City Capital's North American Nutrition and Agribusiness Fund, William Blair New World Ventures and William Blair & Company.

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