Pictured after the voting at both AGMs (l-r), the EDWCA's Tracy Corroll, James Anderton, and the BWCA's Jon Wicks and Phillipa Atkinson-Clow
Members of the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) and the European Drinking Water Cooler Association (EDWCA) have voted to form a new, combined trade association to replace the two existing associations.
The new association will be called The Watercooler & Hydration Association (WHA), and will officially launch on 1 January 2020.
As reported earlier this year, talks began between members of the two executive councils in 2018, with the aim of creating an association which would provide a stronger voice to the industry.
Members of both the BWCA and EDWCA voted on the proposals at their respective AGMs on Thursday, and a statement from the BWCA claimed that both associations voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of the proposal.
The statement also claimed that the WHA would have greater ability to safeguard consistent industry standards and provide better protection for the industry, as the increased membership will provide the association with a stronger voice when lobbying.
BWCA chairman Jon Wicks said: “This industry has been well served by both associations. Now that the sector has grown to become £140 million in value with consistent growth over the past six years, the time seemed right to improve still further the representation of the existing members of both associations.
“It seems wise to have a single body to lobby, set standards of excellence and promote sustainable and healthy hydration”.
James Anderton, chairman of the EDWCA added: “The new body will be well-placed to tackle all of this and more. Jon Wicks and I are proud to have led our respective associations towards making this important change”.
Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, general manager of the BWCA, added: “This is an exciting move for the sector. I’m proud to have led the BWCA for over 25 years and look forward to what the next stage may bring.”
Tracy Corroll, EDWCA secretariat, concluded: “Phillipa and I are looking forward to working together to help achieve a bigger, better organisation and to ensure that the association continues to bring the best training and quality standards to the water cooler industry.”
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