The American Meat Institute and North American Meat Association Thursday announced the two organizations are in discussions regarding a possible merger.
According to a joint press statement, the two groups' executive committees this week voted to pursue discussions about creating a new American meat organization. A committee composed of members from each association will be formed to discuss next steps and to explore how a new organization can best serve its members, the groups said.
Discussions will continue over the next several months.
According to AMI Chair Nick Meriggioli, executive vice president of Kraft Foods Group, and NAMA Co-Presidents Mike Hesse and Anthony Gahn, Jr., the discussions "hold great promise" for creating a new organization that could leverage the strengths of AMI and NAMA.
"It is our intention to pursue discussions in a measured, thoughtful manner that will serve the interests of our associations' members," Meriggioli, Hesse and Gahn said.
AMI currently represents companies that process 95% of red meat and 70% of turkey in the U.S. and their suppliers. The group conducts special research through its Foundation, and provides educational seminars to its members. AMI is governed by elected leaders and employs a staff of 32 people. AMI elected leaders include five officers plus the President and CEO, as well as a 70-person Board of Directors and a 25-person Executive Committee.
NAMA is the result of the 2012 consolidation of the North American Meat Processors Association and National Meat Association. It is governed by three directors each from eight separate regions, with the balance of directorships representing General Members allocated based on a referendum of members at the end of each calendar year, allocated proportionately.
The organization also employs 15 committees to carry out special business on behalf of the organization.