"Thus customers in the fresh food industry - meat, poultry, fish and dairy -- are provided with complete line solutions, which combine the strengths of both suppliers," the companies said in a joint statement today. Over the past year packagers have been merging, buying or making similar agreements in a bid to provide processors with a single, integrated line. Buying a whole line from one supplier cuts down on the problems of equipment compatability and of having to deal with multiple suppliers when components fail. Multivac will distribute Ishida's equipment, together with its own thermoformers, traysealers and labelers under its own brand in all countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ishida will continue to sell its own products and lines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa except in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. In the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, Multivac will exclusively distribute Ishida traysealers to its core meat, poultry and fish markets as an expansion to its own range of similar equipment. In Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Sweden, Norway and Finland, Multivac will distribute exclusively the full range of Ishida products, together with its own range of equipment to all customers in all food sectors. Ishida already supplies equipment to the snacks, confectionery, biscuits, cereals, frozen foods, salads, ready meals, fresh food and value-added products segments. Ishida is one of the world's top suppliers of multihead weighers, quality control technology, complete lines and project management. Multivac's product range includes thermoforming machines, traysealers, vacuum chamber machines and labellers. "The joint commercialisation of our solutions enables customers to profit from a high-capacity packaging line, consisting of a packaging machine tailored to their individual requirements, and compatible quality centre systems - offered through one single sales and service contact," stated Hans-Joachim Boekstegers, Multivac's managing director.