Minutes of the 15th Annual General Meeting

There were a few connection challenges that delayed the start of the meeting.  The chairman declared the meeting open at 20:11

Those present:
Stan Stewart – UK, Daryl Holle – USA, Fiona Benson – UK, Craig Culley – UK, Vivian Diaconescu – Romania

1 – Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Rayan Hayder for family reasons.   No other apologies were received.

2 – Chairman’s Welcome Address
The Chairman thanked all for taking the time to join us for this 15th WOA AGM.   He commented on the challenges for many given the wide range of time zones involved.  He suggested that once again, we will use Skype Chat to conduct the formal agenda items but then he hoped we can connect everyone live on video link for the discussions after Item 7.  Unfortunately Craig and Daryl announced that they do not have a microphone.  Thus it was not possible to move onto talking let alone video.

3 – Approval of Minutes for the 2016 AGM
There were 6 votes recorded accepting the minutes and none against.

There were no matters arising from the minutes.

4 – The Chairman’s Report
All present confirmed having read the report.

5 – The Financial Statement
The chairman recorded 5 votes accepting the Financial Statement with Craig abstaining as the creator of the report.

6 – Election of Directors
There were no applications to become a director and Fiona, as the only director due to retire in 2017 was re-elected unopposed.

7 – Officers for 2018
The chairman opened the discussion stating quite a few officer roles no longer seem to be as relevant as when first created and opened the meeting to discuss the situation.  The discussion was moved to Item 8.

8 – Discussion on the future direction of the WOA
The chairman opened with a discussion on the Officers confirming that the role President, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer are still required.  Fiona listed the current officers that relate to the standard’s committee:

WOA Ostrich Meat Standards Committee: Chairperson: Fiona Benson, England
WOA Ostrich Bird Standards Committee: Chairperson: Stan Stewart, England
WOA Ostrich Leather Standards Committee: Chairperson: Stan Stewart, England
WOA Ostrich Oil Standards Committee: Chairperson: Rayan Hayder, Saudi Arabia
WOA Ostrich Feather Standards Committee: Chairperson: Rayan Hayder, Saudi Arabia

The chairman suggested that we have the standards in place and the committees have had no activity in recent years so the officer posts should be discontinued. Daryl suggested they should remain and Stan agreed he is happy to maintain them.

Vivian suggested we should engage more with the producers in neighbouring countries to bring them on board with these standards and create greater awareness. Fiona remarked the standards relating to hygiene and packaging are forever changing and therefore difficult to maintain.

Language barriers were discussed as so many different languages are spoken within Europe, though most involved in marketing are able to speak several languages with many understanding English.

Discussion moved onto enabling all information to be available free to all. All agreed to remove the membership fee and enable free access to all the information on the web site.

There was also discussion on the price point, comparisons to other meats and the ongoing challenge of building volume to develop economies of scale. Discussion on how the money the association has could be used to promote the industry was deferred with the chairman asking for written proposals that could be discussed later.

9 – Any Other Business
There was no further business to discuss and the meeting closed at 21:10