Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 28 November 2018 10:30am
Unit 2, 89 Tennant Street FYSHWICK ACT 2609
- Appointment of meeting chair
- Confirmation of minutes from previous AGM and any General Meetings
- Report from Board of Directors
- Report from Company Secretary
- Financial report
- Other company business
- Election of directors
- Election of councillors
- Appointment of auditor
- Strategic planning
Previous meeting minutes
Appointment of meeting chair
Greg McNamara was elected by the members to chair the AGM
Confirmation of minutes
Report from Board of Directors
The Chair of the Board of Directors reported on the key activities over the last 12 months.
- It has been a landmark year—the Association was incorporated on 15 January, we developed the current constitution with financial assistance from Farming Together, and registered as a company limited by guarantee on 6 September
- We organised a very successful Love Organic Symposium in Canberra and parliamentary BBQ over 14/15 February. We particularly need to pay tribute to the efforts of Anni Brownjohn, Marg Will, Simone Tully and Chelsea Parkinson in making that event a success.
- We engaged with the Dept of Agriculture on brassicaceous seed biodiversity, leading to the appointment of Don Murray as an organic industry representative on the Department's Imported Seeds Regulation Working Group.
- Nevertheless, our communications with industry and the AOIWG could have been better. This is an issue for strategic discussion later on the agenda.
- We have also made numerous attempts to engage with Australian Organic Ltd over industry governance arrangements, with limited progress. This is also an issue for further strategic discussion.
Looking forward, the Chair noted the following.
- In respect of our export project co-funded by the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation Program, we finally have a workable contract in place. The first industry delegation visited Hong Kong and Singapore in August, and we started work on an organic export strategy—a draft strategy is due in March.
- We still need to develop an industry policy position on the export regulation review.
- We also need to promote industry development and reform industry governance to better support existing & aspiring organic growers.
- We need to consider the merger of OFA and OIA. Its important to rationalise industry governance bodies, but this will likely wait until the ATMAC-funded project is complete—OFA is the grant recipient.
- OIA will continue to engage with AOL over future industry governance arrangements, with a merger of the two organisations the down the track being the best outcome.
Report from Company Secretary
The Company Secretary provided a report on the operations of the company.
- There are now 11 full members and 8 associate members. There are also 9 former members of the association who have a transitional associate membership until 31 December 2018. Most of the new full members and associate members have elected to become foundation members. There is still a need to consider what recognition and benefits should be given to foundation members in return for their higher level of membership fee.
- Financial reports for 2017-18 were presented.
- The secretary noted that the reports had not yet been finalised as full access to bank accounts and invoices had not yet been transferred from the previous association office holders. Nevertheless, the accounts had been reconciled against bank statements, and so there was a high degree of confidence in the overall aggregates.
- The company made a profit of $3,583 for the year, mostly due to the successful management of the Love Organic Symposium.
- The company had net assets at 30 June of $3,583—primarily consisting of $5,558 in its bank account, offset by a GST liability of $2,102.
The Secretary noted that companies limited by guarantee with revenues less than $250k are not required to prepare financial statements or appoint an auditor unless directed by members. Consequently, no laws are breached by the financial statement not being finalised by the AGM. Nevertheless, the Secretary undertook to present final accounts for 2017-18 to the Board as soon as all information was available, and the aim would be to circulate those accounts to members before the end of December.
|Income Statement 2017-18 (preliminary)||119.15 KB|
|Balance Sheet 2017-18 (preliminary)||173.01 KB|
Election of directors
The Company Secretary advised the meeting that the Board had considered the election rules for new directors at its meeting prior to the AGM, noting that no written nominations had been received. The Board resolved that nominations could be accepted from members present at the AGM and if there were more nominations than positions, the Secretary would conduct an election in accordance with the rules in the constitution.
The following nominations were received from members present:
|Greg McNamara||Obe Beef||Organic Mushroom Farm|
|Chris McLoghlin||Norco||Obe Beef|
|Mark Anderson||Organic Mushroom Farm||Obe Beef|
|Sam Statham||Norca||Organic Mushroom Farm|
|Sue Shelton||Norco||Obe Beef|
|Owen Gwilliam||Rosnay Wines||Organic Mushroom Farm|
|Janie McClure||Rosnay Wines||Bellamy's Organic|
|Dalene Wray||Norco||Organic Mushroom Farm|
As there were less nominations than positions available, the Company Secretary advised that all nominees were duly elected as directors.
Election of councillors
The Company Secretary proposed that no written nominations had been received and, as there were insufficient members to establish a Members Council in any case, there should be no election for councillors. There was no objection from members.
Appointment of auditor
The Company Secretary noted that, as a small company limited by guarantee, the company was not legally required to appoint an auditor and the company's revenues are not sufficiently large to warrant the expense. There was no objection from members.
The strategic plan
Membership and fees
Members discussed membership fees and a membership strategy. It was resolved that no change was needed to fees and that the Board should set the fees for 2019-20 by May 2019.
There was some discussion as to whether foundation members should receive any additional benefits or recognition compared with ordinary members. The Board will consider this further.
Its was resolved to undertake a membership drive commencing prior to Christmas, but that this should be part of a broader communications strategy. The Company Secretary was asked to implement an electronic payment facility on the website prior to the membership drive.
Industry consultation strategy
The OFA and the certifiers would be asked to promote the membership drive among their members. The main narrative to be used is "please become a member to help us talk to government about the review of organic regulations".
AOIWG should be consulted on the membership drive and asked to join. They should also be advised of the AGM outcomes.
Directors were asked to review their profiles on the website and advise the Company Secretary of any amendments.
It was noted that the ATMAC project and the need to develop an export strategy would provide a basis on which to reinvigorate engagement with the industry.
The Board was asked to prepare a calendar of key dates for 2019 at its next meeting.
Organic exports strategy
A revised contract has now been executed that provides a workable arrangement for the ATMAC project. Policy Partners is working on a draft report and a revised project plan which, once accepted by the Department, will release the $100k grant.
Policy Partners has engaged Export Connect to assist with aspects of the project. A targeted strategy workshop will be convened on 5 December to help with the broad parameters for the strategy and the process. Then a broader AOIWG workshop will be held in February, with the objective of agreeing a draft export strategy by end of March for public consultation.
A final export strategy is due by end May 2019.
It was noted that Australian Organic had sponsored the ATMAC application and the former CEO was a member of the steering committee. It was resolved that the Chair of the steering committee (Chris McLoughlin) would request that Australian Organic nominate a replacement.
Sustainable growth strategy
David Mackay from Strategic Project Partners presented a proposal to develop an industry strategic plan, for which we could seek a funding contribution from the external stakeholders. The proposal involves:
- an assessment of opportunities for the organic food and beverages sector
- envisioning a shared view of future success for the industry
- developing a detailed implementation plan, business case and communications approach
It was agreed that the new board of directors would review an amended proposal from SPP, with a view to sending the document to AOL, NAASA, AOIWG and others to garner support.
Organic regulations and reform
Members discussed the need to develop a policy position on the review of organic export orders.
It was noted that the Government was due to respond to the review in the second half of 2018.
Organic education workshops
ORICoOp presented a proposal for OIA Ltd to support its organic education workshops. It was agreed that the Board would discuss the proposal at its next meeting.
Attended - Full Members (eligible to vote)
|Sam Statham||Rosnay Wines|
|Dalene Wray||OBE Beef|
|Sue Shelton||Bellamy's Organic|
|Janie McClure||Rural Organics|
Attended - Associate Members (not eligible to vote)
|David Mackay||Strategic Project Partners|
|Chris McLoghlin||Old association member|
|Mark Anderson||Old association member|
Attended - Others
|Representative||Reason for attending|
|Tony Webster||Company Secretary|