Statutes

of an European Association that joins the efforts of its Members to promote and develop organic plant breeding in organic agriculture.

Name

(1) The Association carries the name "European Consortium for Organic Plant Breeding", abbreviated "ECO-PB" and in German translation "Europäisches Konsortium für Ökologische Pflanzenzucht". The Association is to be registered as a "Verein" with the Lower Civil Court (Amtsgericht) of Freiburg im Breisgau and it will carry the addition to its name "eingetragener Verein" (translated: registered Association) or abbreviated "e.V.".

Seat

(2) The Association has its seat in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany.

Language

(3) The official language of the Association is English and it is German for communications with authorities in Germany.

Purpose

(4) The Association pursues exclusively and directly benevolent purposes. The Association is active with no regard to its own benefit. It does not predominately pursue the purpose of generating income. Means of the Association may only be used for statutory purposes. Members do not receive payments from the means of the Association. No person may profit from expenditures, which are alien to the Association's purposes, or by disproportional high remuneration.

The Association's purpose is to protect the environment; nature and biodiversity by furthering organic agriculture through plant breeding directed at the needs of organic farming systems. For this end the Association may, for example,

(a) initiate, establish, support and maintain organic plant breeding programmes, which will make available information and material to European organic farmers and which will correspond to the principles of organic agriculture;

(b) develop and investigate the concepts and scientific basis of organic plant breeding and

(c) develop and promote appropriate standards and practises as well as an appropriate legal framework for organic plant breeding.

To further its purpose the Association may also provide, for example, for the exchange of knowledge and thoughts among its members, for the information of the public, and for representation in parliamentary and administrative rule-making.

Termination

(5) When the Association is terminated, its remaining funds are passed to charitable non-profit organisations, which will be named by the Members Assembly with the consent of the German Tax Authorities.

Membership

(6) There are two categories of membership in the Association: Members (with voting rights) and supporting Associates (without voting rights). Membership is open only to organisations that actively engage in the development and promotion of organic plant breeding. The supporting Association is open to all, including farmers, producers as well as those engaged in research, education and training, consulting, certifying, promotion and advocacy. All Members and Associates must actively pursue the Association's objectives. The activities of Members must be predominantly consistent with the statutory purposes and the standards of the Association. Members must be prepared to provide proof of compliance with the membership requirements. The Board decides upon the admission of Members and supporting Associates on their written request. It may expel Members and supporting Associates that act against the Association's objectives or interests.

Organs

(7) The Association's organs are the Members Assembly and the Board of Directors. Decisions of the organs are recorded in written minutes. The organs may take decisions in writing, including fax-transmission or e-mail-messages. The decision to be taken must be communicated to the members of the organ by its Chair and there must be a voting period of at least twelve working days to respond to the person indicated for that purpose in the call to vote by the Chair. The Members' Assembly votes by simple majority with at least 25% of its members represented and calculated by comparing the yes-votes with the no-votes. For decisions of the Board of Directors the same rules apply with at least half of its members represented.

Members Assembly

(8) A regular Members Assembly is held every year. It is called by the Board of Directors in writing, which includes the transmission of fax-messages and e-mail. On the written request of 25 percent of the Members an extraordinary Members Assembly is called. The Members Assembly elects a chair. Members have one vote each. Associates do not vote, but may speak. Representatives of Members have to prove their authorisation and the payment of their membership fee on request. If they fail, they may not vote. Voting is open. It is by secret ballot, if so requested by one member. Votes by written proxy are permitted, but restricted to a total of three votes per person. Amendments to these Statutes are decided by two-thirds majority. Amendments to Statutes can only be voted upon, when the proposed modification of the Statutes has been sent to the Members not less than twenty working days before vote is taken.

Elections

(9) Every regular Members Assembly elects at least three Board Members. The Board Members choose amongst themselves a Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Board of Directors

(10) The Board of Directors represents the Association, executes the decisions of the Members Assembly and decides all issues not yet determined by the Members Assembly. The Board of Directors may delegate managerial or other tasks to bodies or to individuals. The Association is legally represented by two Board Members acting jointly.

Finances

(11) Membership-fees and fees for supporting Associates are fixed by the Members Assembly. The Board of Directors submits a financial report covering the period since the previous regular Members Assembly to each Members Assembly. Budget for the succeeding year is to be submitted to the Members Assembly by the Board of Directors for approval.