CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (June 8)—BRC Rubber Group Inc. and Alco Industries have created what they believe is the rubber product industry´s first purchasing consortium, the Rubber Industry Buyers Alliance Inc. "The manufacturer today is in a vice," said Chuck Chaffee, BRC CEO and co-founder of the consortium. "This is the only way the rubber business has any way to survive." RIBA will have an operations-oriented board of directors, a third-party independent purchasing group and cross-member secrecy agreements. Within the consortium, members will have to release procurement numbers that relate to upcoming bids only to whoever is handling the lead negotiations, whether it´s another member company for now or the independent purchasing organization RIBA plans to put in place by the end of this year. BRC and Alco held a information meeting for 11 Midwestern manufacturers May 2 in Fremont, Ohio, and probably will have another recruitment meeting in the area as early as July.