I.M.A. approves steps to broaden membership
July 01, 1994
by Teresa Acklin
The membership of the International Milling Association, meeting in Florence, Italy, formally approved a program aimed at broadening the association's membership as well as expanding participation in its biennial General Assembly.
Tentative steps in that direction had drawn to the Florence General Assembly representatives of millers' organizations of both Morocco and Russia as new participants in the I.M.A.
In reporting on the expansion program to the Assembly, Pat Metaxa of the U.K., immediate past president of the association, noted that the “greatest response” to membership enlargement had come from milling interests of Central and Eastern Europe. “This is in line with our expectations,” Mr. Metaxa said, while emphasizing that the association was prepared “to work warmly” with national milling associations in other parts of the world. Indeed, Mr. Metaxa recently traveled to Southeast Asia, where he conferred with several millers on I.M.A. activities.
So far as the biennial General Assembly is concerned, Mr. Metaxa noted agreement on the need “to add value” to that program, in effect reforming how the Assembly is conducted to include “new and broader subjects.”
Consideration will be given to extending the working program for millers at the next General Assembly to be held in two years in Portugal from the half-day format of the past to provide a program extending over one and a half days.
This will be at the expense of the social and touring program that has been an important feature of past I.M.A. gatherings.
As part of the same undertaking, the I.M.A. membership approved the concept of inviting representatives of the leading milling engineering companies to participate in the Assembly and “to present reviews of their latest activity” of importance to millers throughout the world.
The success of this effort, as well as any modifications, will be studied at the next Congress in Portugal in 1996.
Before these steps were taken, membership in the I.M.A. had been limited to the national milling associations of the member countries of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association. In anticipation of such a move by the membership, which is aimed at strengthening both the program and the financial base of the association, invitations were extended to milling associations in other nations proposing their interest and participation. Morocco and Russia responded favorably.
Total attendance at the Florence General Assembly was about 200. For the first time in the organization's history, the trade press was represented by Luigi Costato, a former miller and head of both the I.M.A. and the Italian Millers' Association, who also is editor of Molini Italia, which is the journal of the Italian association; and also by Morton I. Sosland and Charles S. Sosland of World Grain and Milling & Baking News.