American Meat Institute's general members voted today to join their organization with the North American Meat Association. The member approval was the last step needed to finalize the merger.

The boards of the two groups had previously voted yes to the merger, which is set to occur Jan. 1, 2015.

“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,” AMI chairman Greg Benedict, chief operating officer and president of American Foods Group, who serves on the merger committee, said in a statement. “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.”

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