IVU General meeting, Brazil, 10 November 2004
1 Tina Fox welcomed participants, especially members of
UVL - the newly formed regional organisation for Latin America
and the Caribbean.
2 Saurabh Dalal outlined the meeting procedures and distributed
voting slips to member organisations.
3. Chair's report (Tina Fox)
The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) exists to help vegetarian
societies around the world and to support a network of vegetarian
organisations. It was founded in 1908 and holds a World Congress
every two years. The Council meets in person at the Congress and
meets online between Congresses. A list
of current Councillors was presented:
Vanessa Clarke (United Kingdom)
Gerry Coffey (USA; Regional Coordinator for North America)
Saurabh Dalal (USA; Secretary)
John Davis (United Kingdom; Webmaster, non-voting)
Tina Fox (United Kingdom; Chair)
Robert Fraser (Australia; Regional Coordinator for Australasia)
P.K. Jain (Botswana; Regional Coordinator for Africa)
Maxwell Lee (United Kingdom)
Francisco Martin (Spain)
Kevin Pickard (Canada; Deputy Chair)
David Pye (United Kingdom; Treasurer)
Jashu Shah (India; Regional Coordinator for Asia)
Hildegund Scholvien (Germany)
Paul Turner (USA)
Stephen Walsh (United Kingdom)
Marly Winckler (Brasil; Regional Coordinator for Latin America)
In the two years since the last General Meeting grants had been
given to 3 groups (in Belgium, Italy and the USA) to support specific
projects, grants had been given to three group to help them attend
the Congress and a grant had been given to help set up the Brazil
Congress. IVU had been registered as a not-for-profit company
and hoped to gain charitable status in the UK. Its registered
office is that of the Vegetarian Society of the UK.
4. Treasurer's Report (David Pye)
During 2002-3 IVU had a sterling and a dollar account, for the
sake of clarity both accounts have been combined into sterling
at the exchange rate prevailing at the year end. The dollar account
was originally set up in 1999 to receive payments for the Thailand
Congress. It was found that the account had become expensive to
run for the amount of activity and very inflexible to use as it
had no cheque book. The dollar account was closed on 7 July 2003
and all funds transferred to sterling. IVU is a UK registered
not for profit company owned by its membership and limited by
guarantee The company accounting year runs from 1st April to 31st
Income from subscriptions and associated donations for 2002-3
reached £4,557. Subscriptions always rise in a year when
we have a congress and in 2002 we had the Edinburgh congress.
Subscription income dipped in 2003-4 to £3,639 with around
two thirds of this coming in via online payments on the IVU website.
During 2002 IVU received a generous legacy of £10,000.
IVU has investments in a Lloyds TSB UK offshore gilt fund account
and dividend income from this investment has been falling over
the last five years due to reduced interest rates. 2002-3 dividends
were £2,511 and 2003-4 were £2,930. Following a vote
at the Edinburgh congress a further £25,000 was invested
in the Gilt funds. The value of this investment at the 2003-4
year end was £64,723. Gilt funds are monies borrowed from
the banks by the UK government and form part of the UK's national
Bank interest on our account for 2002-3 was £130 but less
cash in the account meant our bank interest dropped in 2003-4
to just £35.
IVU magazine production costs have been very low compared to previous
years and in 2003-4 no magazine was printed at all.
The IVU website is very popular and an excellent vegetarian resource
with a million pages accessed each month. Council took the decision
to invest in updating this very important resource especially
in the handling of membership data. The website costs around £2,500
per year to run and in 2002-3 we spent and extra £2,313
on upgrades and a further £1,760 in 2003-4.
Grants to other organisations to promote vegetarianism around
the world amounted to £2,500 for 2002-3 and £2,914
for 2003-4. Other outgoings were the Edinburgh congress registration
fees for councillors at £1,515 in 2002. The latter is the
only benefit received by Council members who work as volunteers
and pay their own travel, and accommodation for Congresses.
Income over expenditure for 2002-3 was £6,692 and for 2003-4
shows a deficit of £779. This deficit was due to the extra
expenditure on grants and the website during that period and is
in keeping with councils plans to give out more grants and use
the £10,000 legacy money on promoting vegetarianism.
The total value of assets at year end March 2004 stands at £78,924.
Despite falling interest rates the financial future for IVU is
generally good with membership set to increase. I feel confident
that IVU can continue to promote vegetarianism in the future and
although our annual income is not high we do have the assurance
of a sound financial basis to support our work.
Accounts for 2002-3 were prepared by an independent accountant
at a cost of £494. Accounts for 2003-4 have not yet been
passed to an accountant but it is intended to do this before they
are due for submission to UK Companies House in January 2005.
I ask that members vote in favour of accepting these accounts
pending this submission in the new year.
David Pye (IVU treasurer)
5. Web/internet report (John Davis)
For this congress all publicity had been online and payments
could be made online from across the world - both for the first
time. The high attendance indicated that this approach had been
There was now a virtual office, making administration of IVU
more efficient and cost effective, e.g. automated subscription
renewals. The directory of vegetarian resources is now also kept
up to date through an automatic renewal mechanism.
The website now includes extensive information on the history
of IVU prepared by John Davis. A book is planned for the 2008
6. International Council elections (Saurabh Dalal)
As there were fewer candidates (8) for Council than the number
of elected members (10) there was no requirement for an email
ballot of members, but the GM still needed to ratify (or exceptionally
reject) candidates. Saurabh explained that if the meeting felt
there were no contentious candidates, it was more efficient to
vote for all the candidates as a group (en bloc) rather than one
An en bloc vote was proposed by Elizabeth Yoder, seconded by
Vanessa Clarke and unanimously approved. The candidates for the
International Council were then also unanimously approved:
Saurabh Dalal (USA), Tina Fox (UK), Nina Rosa Jacob (Brazil),
Mitsuru Kakimoto (Japan), Lwere Kasibante (Uganda), Francisco
Martin (Spain), David Pye (UK), Stephen Walsh (UK).
7. Alterations to the Articles of Association
These were notified to member organisations in advance. A 75%
majority of those voting is required to make such alterations.
Background. All members of IVU are currently non-profit organisations
whose primary purpose is the promotion of vegetarianism and who
are governed by vegetarians. Council wished to add a new category
of "associate members" to include organisations promoting
vegetarianism who were ineligible for full
membership. Associate members would have all benefits of membership
except for the right to vote or to nominate candidates for the
International Council. All references to members in the articles
and bylaws would be altered to avoid ambiguity given this new
category of members.
This motion was carried by the General meeting without opposition.
8. Bylaws changes
Background: At present changes to subscription rates can only
be made by the General meeting. The International Council felt
that this restricted their ability to respond to changes such
as the expansion of the number of business supporters and changes
in the services available to such supporters. They were also seeking
to simplify the subscription structure for other members. To facilitate
this they asked that the Council be given the power to change
subscriptions following a one month consultation period with members
on each proposed change.
No questions were raised so the proposal was put to the vote
and was unanimously approved.
9. World Vegetarian Congresses
Brazil 2004 (Tina Fox). The Congress had been switched from Singapore
at short notice due to SARS and other issues. Marly Winckler and
her team had stepped in to organise the Brazil congress and had
brought a record 36 countries together to celebrate vegetarianism.
Tina congratulated Marly and her team and the general meeting
gave them a standing ovation.
India 2006 (Jashu Shah). Jashu invited all participants to the
37th World Congress to be held in Goa for one week between the
7th and 22nd of September at a hotel with a private beach. He
expected six to seven hundred people and hoped that the President
of India would address the Congress. The exact dates would be
confirmed soon after a response from the President.
It was explained that the decision on the location for the 2008
Congress lay with this General Meeting and that Council was recommending
Dresden in Germany as this was the location for the first IVU
Congress in 1908 and the German Vegetarier Bund had a very good
track record for organising congresses.
Germany 2008 (Hildegund Scholvien). The proposed congress would
be held in the present Kulturpalast in the historical old town
of Dresden, starting on 27 July 2008. The provisional program,
including excursions to the Elbe valley and to the Meissen factory
were presented. Accommodation costs ranged from 80 Euro per night
for two people in a double in a local hotel to much lower rates
for youth hostel or camping accommodation.
A proposal from Tina Fox to accept this proposal was unanimously
accepted (the Vegetarier Bund organisers abstained).
10. Regional reports
Asia. Jashu Shah reported that there had been a regional Congress
in Bangkok, that new vegetarian societies had formed in China
and Thailand and that there were plans for a vegetarian society
in Pakistan and for a further Asian congress.
Europe. Hildegund Scholvien reported that a vegetarian festival
had been held as an alternative to the intended 2001 congress
in Turkey which had been postponed. The European Vegetarian Union
would celebrate its 20th anniversary next year and there would
be an EVU Congress in Italy on the Adriatic coast near Rimini.
The EVU Secretary, Herma Caelen, had been working hard on developing
contacts with the European Union but this work was hard and slow
to bear fruit. EVA from Belgium had achieved a major breakthrough
by getting a government grant of 100,000 euros per year for five
years and Hildi hoped this would lead to way to other organisations
having similar successes in fundraising. She hoped to see many
of the participants at this Congress at the EVU Congress in Italy
next year organised by the Carmen Somaschi and the AVI.
North America. Gerry Coffey reported that the Vegetarian Union
of North America had spent much of its time directing enquirers
to appropriate vegetarian resources. Gerry thought that getting
an up-to-date survey of vegetarians in the USA could generate
much publicity, perhaps as effective as the Time magazine cover
story which appeared two years ago. VUNA had made representations
to Congress on the distribution of funds from McDonald's. Saurabh
Dalal had worked with the US Department of Agriculture on including
more vegetarian foods within the new diet guidelines. VUNA was
seeking to develop a council of experts to produce authoritative
press releases. VUNA elections would be held within the next few
Latin America and the Caribbean. Marly Winckler reported considerable
progress. The Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB) was founded in
2003 and the present congress organised. Argentina had a strong
vegetarian movement and recently held a meeting for 400 people.
The movement in Bolivia was also strong and all the Latin American
countries were doing something. Nine Latin American countries
were represented at this Congress which had generated much publicity
and after the Congress vegetarianism would have moved forward
in Latin America.
There were no reports from Africa or Australasia.
Tina Fox encouraged all members to contact their regional coordinators
and to work together.
11. IVU fellows
IVU fellows were individuals IVU wished to honour for their contribution.
There were at most 12 fellows at any time and due to the death
of Jan Beeldman last year there were only 11 now: Alex Hershaft,
Brian Graff, Brian Gunn King, Francisco Martin, Howard Lyman,
M I A Khalek, Madge Darnielle, Marcel Hebbelinck, Maxwell G Lee,
Rudolf Meyer and Surendra Mehta.
John Davis presented the background to Council's recommendation
that Jashu Shah be elected as a fellow. Jashu first became involved
in the IVU in 1957 and by 1967 was secretary of the reception
committee for an IVU Congress. In 1977 Jashu stepped in as joint
organiser of an IVU congress held in
Bombay, Delhi and Madras. In 1982 he joined the International
Committee and in 1986 became Regional Secretary for India and
the Middle East. In 1997 he organised a regional congress and
in 1999 founded the Asian Vegetarian Organisation. He has been
a trustee of many other organisations.
Jashu was unanimously elected as a fellow, and thanked IVU, his
family and his team in Bombay for their support.
12. Any other business
Francisco Martin noted that the FAO was promoting the use of
insect protein in Africa and that the Italian Vegetarian Association
(AVI) had prepared a response. He suggested that IVU adopt this
response and send it to the FAO. Tina Fox welcomed the AVI initiative
but felt it would be more effective for IVU to prepare its own
response to complement that of the AVI.
The formation of the Union Vegetariano Latino (UVL) was announced.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay had already
A request for logistical and legal support for Bolivia and other
Latin American organisations was made. Tina Fox noted that such
requests were best pursued through the regional coordinators.
The meeting was closed.