WASHINGTON – The American Meat Institute board of directors agreed to proceed with a proposed merger with the North American Meat Association. The NAMA board approved the merger in March.

The vote is the second of three steps needed to finalize the merger which would occur Jan. 1, 2015. AMI members will vote on the merger later in April. If members approve the merger, a transition committee will be formed to create a plan to merge the associations by the end of 2014.

“The Board’s vote to proceed with a merger is a positive development,” said AMI Chairman Greg Benedict, COO and president of American Foods Group, who serves on the merger committee. “We look forward to our General Member vote in the coming weeks.”