American Meat Institute (AMI) General Members yesterday voted unanimously to proceed with a merger with the North American Meat Association (NAMA). The vote occurred during a special meeting of the AMI membership and is the last step necessary to finalize a merger, slated to occur Jan. 1, 2015.

AMI’s Board voted on April 2 to proceed with the merger and NAMA’s Board also voted in favor of the merger on March 22.

“The General Membership’s unanimous vote makes possible the formation of a new and stronger organization, well-positioned to meet the challenges of the future,” said AMI Chairman Greg Benedict, chief operating officer 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.”