History of the World Ostrich Association

September 10th, 2002 saw the birth of the World Ostrich Association. A team of dedicated professionals founded this association as they recognising the need for an Association that can provide a positive direction for the industry, through “Communication, Dissemination of Information and the Establishment of Industry Standards”.

The Association was registered on 10th September 2002 at Companies House in the England and Wales as a “Not for Profit Association” under Section 30 of the Companies Act. The Memorandum and Articles of association are available for viewing at http://world-ostrich.org/articles-2/

The methods that the Board of Directors agreed to utilise to achieve the objectives as laid out in the Mission Statement are listed below:

To open up the channels of communication a number of methods were introduced by the Association.  At the 10 year Anniversary, in order to keep in touch with the industry as it is today, the methods of communication are now updated.

a. Meetings
In view of the high costs of travel for meetings, the constitution allows for ‘virtual’ meetings with discussions and voting by electronic means. The Annual General Meeting will be a physical meeting…with electronic voting permitted for those unable to attend.

b. Web Site
The web site was updated to enable regular publication of articles, which members may log on an add comments.

f. Dedicated Ostrich Magazines and other suitable publications
Membership participation is invited to assist in identification of suitable publications to promote the association and industry in a positive manner.

The founder members were from all stages of the value chain and recognised the need for strong leadership that will bring about a structure to our fledgling industry. The Association members recognise that the industry is currently fragmented, with many new entrants seeking reliable information. “New entrants” covers producers, processors and most importantly the buyers of the end products.  All the founding members have experienced many lost opportunities as a direct result of inexperience from producer to consumer.

Recognising the need  of basic standards as a critical part of coordinating this industry to enable it to grow for the benefit of all participants the founder members formed committees to develop basic standards.

Standards are required to provide ‘bench mark’ guidelines for both buyers and sellers, without which a seller can make a statement that has no merit. Some aspects that the different standards will set at each stage of the value chain are:

1. Live Birds
International Transport of Eggs, Chicks and Birds
Definitions of ‘Healthy Birds’
Grading and Classifications of Breeding Stock
Development of a Bird Registry Program
Research Projects

2. Meat
Carcass Grading
Meat Grading
Muscle Names
Definitions of Yield measurements
Research Projects

3. Skins
Grades and system of Grading
Classifications to include:
Follicle development
Research Projects
Recommended Removal Instructions for Raw Ostrich Skins
Recommended Storage Instructions for Raw Ostrich Skins

4. Feathers
Definitions of feather types
Definitions of grades within feather types
Research projects

5. Oil
Standards for rendering to produce marketable Crude Oil
Standards for refining to produce marketable Cosmetic Oil
Research projects

Each committee consisted of 5 members. The committees first reported to Association members for approval of the standards before adoption by the Board of Directors for general publication as Industry Standards. The committees will be responsible for monitoring and upgrading the standards as knowledge increases and the general standard of birds produced improves.

At the 10 year anniversary, the Meat and Skin committees have published their basic standards.  The Bird, Feather and Oil committess recognised the need for a larger production base to enable fair establishment of basic standards.  This will be accomplished at the earlierst opportunitiy.

Message from of Directors
The Board of Directors are committed to working closely with the members to guide our industry towards maturity to provide a good return on the investment all have made. Most importantly to provide our consumers with the QUALITY products they are seeking and ensure that they are a credit to the Ostrich. They invite all involved in the industry to support the Association through active membership to enable all to develop Ostrich Production as a truly Commercial Industry on a Global Scale.