Ladies and Gentlemen,
You may have recently received information giving a somewhat flawed description of what has happened, what is happening, and what will be happening in regard to the United Kingdom & Ireland local unit of FCSI – EAME Division. We hope the following will help bring things into perspective.
First, please rest assured that no one is losing their FCSI membership, and the current situation is essentially an administrative change.
Earlier this week we received an understandably frantic e-mail from a dedicated FCSI member in England, describing his impression that there was some sort of separation of the UK&I membership from FCSI. Since then we have had our first opportunity to review information that was circulated to the UK&I FCSI membership and reported in the press. This information does not represent FCSI, nor does it accurately relate the facts.
For background, it is important to understand that the UK&I leadership initiated this change when it unilaterally notified EAME several months ago that they were withdrawing from FCSI effective January 1, 2016. Attempts were made to resolve differences between UK&I and EAME, with a tentative “Heads of Terms” document prepared for signature by UK&I, EAME, and WW in late September. The World Wide Board considered the document at their October meeting and found it was not an acceptable precedent to set for relationships between FCSI Local Units, Divisions, and World Wide. A motion was made and seconded that the FCSI World Wide Board not accept the proposed Heads of Terms, and the motion passed unanimously.
Similarly, within the past few days, the EAME Board voted not to accept UK&I’s proposed retraction of their termination notice, by a vote of eight to two. As a result the UK&I local unit administrative function will end, as they requested and according to the timetable they set.
The unsanctioned information that was circulated gives the impression that members must choose between FCSI and a nameless group that doesn’t currently exist – this is completely incorrect. ALL FCSI members currently represented by UK&I will become “at large” members of EAME, with absolutely no lapse in status. Rumors that members will be unable to continue using the FCSI initials are simply wrong.
The unsanctioned information goes on to attempt to somehow denigrate being an “at-large” member by implying that members in certain countries are lesser members because they currently happen to have no local unit. Nothing could be further from the truth. We cherish all FCSI members regardless of geography, and particularly recognise the value and prominence of FCSI consultants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. While there will for the time being not be an administrative organization exclusively for this region, there is nothing to prevent EAME from establishing a successor local unit at an opportune time to be determined.
We sincerely hope that we will not lose any current UK&I members as a result of this, and in fact believe that the original decision made by the UK&I Executive did not adequately consider or even solicit the wishes of its members.
To continue their FCSI membership, current members need do nothing except to direct any administrative items to EAME. There will, I suspect, be some transition required that will not be in place in the coming fortnight, but it will be in process.
We hope that any individuals who have expressed aspirations to attempt to create some sort of organisation competing with FCSI in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other areas in the region will reconsider, and focus their energy toward working with FCSI – EAME in continuing to strengthen the practice of food service consulting.
I hope this is informative and helpful. Please feel free to contact us if any additional clarification is required.
Jim Petersen, Jr. FCSI
, secretary-treasurer and interim president of FCSI World Wide
Martin Rahmann FCSI
, chair FCSI EAME