The Delegate Assembly at the 2018 IFAJ Congress voted unanimously on July 11, 2018 to approve draft bylaws which will allow the IFAJ Presidium to start the process of registering a foundation (non-profit organization with charitable status) in the UK. After three years of preparation, the UK was chosen for a variety of reasons including a robust regulatory system for charities.
The Dutch Roots Congress is being held at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands with over 200 participants from around the world. The IFAJ Delegate Assembly was held just before the official opening of the congress, and the approval of the foundation bylaws, as well as to register IFAJ as a (non-profit) company limited by guarantee, were historic decisions that got the event off to a great start.
“There’s been a considerable amount of work needed to reach this point, and there’ll be a lot more still required, but the establishment of the Foundation marks the next stage in the development of IFAJ as a force for good in global agricultural journalism,” says Adrian Bell, IFAJ’s treasurer.
“Both the Foundation and the incorporation of IFAJ into a formal, legal entity will allow us to put an ambitious new partnership and funding plan into action. It will provide the basis for a sustainable, long-term approach to IFAJ’s activities, allowing us to do more of what we do best, more effectively.
“By putting these new structures in place, we’ll become more professional in our approach to funding, how we manage our activities and how we’re perceived by our partners and sponsors.”
The foundation’s main goal will be to advance the practice of good agricultural journalism and communication worldwide in order to improve the flow and quality of information required by the world’s farmers.
This will be accomplished by providing resources for programming that will support agricultural journalism and communications as a tool for agricultural development and by improving the professional skills and opportunities of agricultural journalists and communicators.
The main activities of the foundation will be to provide financial assistance, training, support and practical advice relating to agricultural journalism and communication, stimulate and support new agricultural information networks, provide organisational and financial support for worldwide activities such as conferences, workshops and seminars on agricultural topics for journalists and media workers, provide financial support for training new entrants to the profession; and formulate support and best practice guidelines for reporting on farming and food security topics.
The IFAJ Executive Committee will meet in Ireland in November 2018 where the final procedures for establishing the foundation will be completed.