WASHINGTON – American Meat Institute (AMI) General Members voted to proceed with a merger with the North American Meat Association (NAMA). The vote occurred during a special meeting of AMI members.

The vote by AMI members was the final step needed to begin the merger which is to occur Jan. 1, 2015. AMI's board approved the merger on April 2, and NAMA's board gave its nod on March 22.

“The General Membership’s unanimous vote today makes possible the formation of a new and stronger organization, well-positioned to meet the challenges of the future,” said AMI Chairman Greg Benedict, CEO and president of American Foods Group, who serves on the merger committee. “Our two organizations now will create a transition committee to begin the process of merging our two organizations’ operations and governing structure. This is a positive development and one that stands to serve our industry well.”