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World Commerce Online Inc. has signed on a new client for its planned Fruit2Trade operation scheduled to debut in January. Germany’s Atlanta Group, a 98-year-old produce operator, is buying software and other components from World Commerce to launch a European electronic marketplace for fruits and vegetables.

The value of the deal wasn’t disclosed. Atlanta’s existing food distribution network comprises 26 locations in German, Austria, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy and Eastern European countries.

The Fruit2Trade operation will allow buyers and sellers to complete deals online. World Commerce operates its own business-to-business marketplaces for the floral and fresh produce industries, and markets its technology and systems to other firms.

Although World Commerce continues to grow its client roster, high startup costs this year are bruising the firm’s stock price. From a high of $22 per share in April, the stock is currently trading in the $7 range.

Besides its headquarters near Orlando International Airport, World Commerce has offices in California, Columbia, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Israel, Kenya and France. Keith Money is the firm’s executive vice president.

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