Thursday, October 24, 2013

Free Range Farmers Association still can't face reality

The Free Range Farmers Association Secretary didn't like my statement that the Association is in meltdown and as you can see from her earlier response – she says that my comments “will be forwarded to our legal representation for further action.”

She complains that my comments constitute 'bullying' which is a bit rich coming from a committee which has been expert at attempting to intimidate and control members. Anyway, I will be more than happy to deal with these issues in court if that is their choice.

The word 'Meltdown' appears to have particularly got up her nose but what better word could describe an organisation with this record:

Membership of the Free Range Farmers Association has fallen dramatically following committee decisions in 2012 and 2013 not to uphold the Association's standards relating to the use of colouring additives in poultry feed and packing eggs from non-accredited sources.

Former FRFA Secretary Tania Murray resigned in April 2013

Former President and FRFA Accreditation Officer Graeme Barwise resigned from the Association in May 2013, following false allegations by the acting secretary that he had no hens on his farm. She repeated that false claim in a formal complaint to the Victorian Farmers Markets Association about the Free As A Bird farm at Tooradin. Following an investigation, the complaint was shown to be unfounded.

Former President and Accreditation Officer Philip Westwood did not renew his FRFA membership at the end of June 2013 – so ceased to be a member at that time. Committee members made false and defamatory allegations about him to other members and outside organisations but were unable to produce a shred of evidence.

Former President Anne Westwood did not renew her FRFA membership at the end of June 2013 – so ceased to be a member at that time.

Former Treasurer and Committee member Phillip Ledin resigned in July 2013

Treasurer Marnie Ellis resigned in July 2013

Former President Dan Green failed to renew his membership for 2013 – 14.

Committee Member Paula Jones chose not to renew her membership

A number of FRFA members have also chosen not to renew their membership for 2013 – 14 as no member benefits were provided by the previous committee.

The FRFA year ends on June 30, and the Model Rules adopted by the Association require membership fees to be paid in advance prior to July 1 each year. The committee failed to send out membership renewals prior to the year end and membership fees had not been paid before the annual meeting which was hurriedly called on August 12, 2013. Only some 'members' were advised when the annual meeting was to be held. Annual accounts were not circulated and proper notice of the 2013 Annual General Meeting was not sent to all members – in fact the Association had no members at that time as the fees had not been paid.

Minutes of the AGM have not been circulated and members have not been advised who is currently on the committee.

'Meltdown' seems to be an apt description of the current state of the Free Range Farmers Association. The actions of the committee brought the Association into disrepute.
I rest my case!!!

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