“We can’t just have the the big players funding the organisation.” So says the Board of EFTTA after making a significant addition to the Association’s membership in February.
Bolstered by the addition of one of Europe’s top wholesalers and what it describes as a ‘notable surge’ in membership, EFTTA has embarked upon a major recruitment drive.
The significant newcomer is Korda Europe which confirmed its support for EFTTA at the recent Carp Den Bosch show in the Netherlands.
The EFTTA Board member and Business Development Manager at Shimano Europe, Gerard Bakkenes, confirmed at a specially convened meeting with the industry press earlier this month that the association will be concentrating its efforts on driving up membership to fund its lobbying activities. “That will be our main focus,” he said.
EFTTA has been heartened by the signing of Korda Europe and an increase in membership driven by companies ‘rallying’ together to advocate for the preservation and promotion of recreational angling in the European Parliament.
“In the past membership has been driven by recruitment through EFTTEX – companies had to be a member to exhibit at the show,” added Bakkenes. “It has taken two years to get across the message that EFTTA does not mean EFTTEX. The dynamic going forward will be much faster as we regain our focus on membership and consolidate the trade across Europe. We have the opportunity to really be a trade body.
“The penny has dropped. We can’t just have the big players funding the organisation. In December we sent out a letter to the bigger organisations who earn money from the fishing industry, but who are not members of EFTTA. Following this you will see an influx of new members signing up.”
He explained that EFTTA has split the market into tiers. “We have approached the bigger companies, which also includes large retailers, and will work our way down to the smaller players. All the money will be used for lobbying.
“Anyone running a fishing business will in the future be in serious danger because of the threats to the sport. There are many out there because regulations are increasing.”
EFTTA President Jan Mertens added: “The increasing number of companies joining EFTTA reflects a shared commitment to safeguarding the interests of recreational anglers. Korda Europe and its Managing Director, Maurice Keulen, bring valuable expertise and passion to our collective efforts.
“Together, we will continue to make a significant impact on the policies that affect the recreational angling community.”
Keulen added: “At Korda Europe, we are dedicated to supporting initiatives that champion the causes of recreational anglers. Joining EFTTA aligns seamlessly with our commitment to preserving the rich tradition of angling while contributing to sustainable practices within the industry. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded companies and advocating for the rights of anglers in the European Parliament.”
Picture: EFTTA and Korda seal the deal at Carp Den Bosch. (From left to right): Gerard Bakkenes (Shimano), Jan Mertens (Pure Fishing), Olivier Portrat (EFTTA CEO), Maurice Keulen (Korda EU) and Ross Honey (Angling Spirit).