NORCROSS, Ga., Feb. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RockTenn and AICC today announced an agreement whereby the company has increased its annual set-aside for the independent market to 1 million tons per year from 700,000 tons per year. The two-year agreement, which is effective Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015, includes all containerboard products that RockTenn produces. AICC's Board of Directors approved the new agreement in principle at a meeting held Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, and AICC President Steve Young, acting on behalf of the AICC Board, and RockTenn President, Corrugated Packaging, Jim Porter, signed the agreement on January 27. "We are extremely pleased and grateful that RockTenn has increased its annual commitment of containerboard to the independent market," said Mark Mathes, CEO of Vanguard Packaging, Kansas City, and Chairman of AICC. "RockTenn is a valuable partner in AICC's roll of ensuring continuity of containerboard and paperboard supply to its independent converting members." "RockTenn is a major supplier to North American independents, and this agreement is a natural extension of our commitment to this important market," said Porter. "We have many wonderful independent customer relationships and we are delighted to make a strong statement of support with our comprehensive portfolio of RockTenn products." AICC developed set-aside agreements with major suppliers of linerboard and corrugating medium to help ensure that independents' sources of containerboard would remain reliable in times of tight supply, or worse, major shortages. These agreements, which encourage individually negotiated agreements between a supplier and independent converters, are designed to help all independent corrugator operators as well as sheet suppliers and their sheet plant customers. This is the second agreement AICC has signed with RockTenn, although it once had agreements in force with RockTenn antecedents Smurfit-Stone and Solvay Paperboard. Other companies have also signed set-aside agreements with AICC, including KapStone Paper & Packaging, Kruger, Norampac and Greif. Set aside agreements do not replace individual supply contracts that independents may already have in place under terms that have been privately negotiated.