Standing rules of the International Research Association for Organic Food Quality and Health

1 Membership

1.1 Criteria of Membership

Referring to Article 4 (Membership) in the by-laws of the FQH Association the following criteria will be applied:

Ordinary members

  1. Ordinary members are legal persons (entities). These can be state or private entities. Exceptions see under point 3.
  2. Affiliation to the association as ordinary members is open to research organisations. All ordinary members must actively pursue the Associations' objectives. The activities of members must predominantly be consistent with research in organic farming and research in organic food quality and health or these topics are being addressed in the activity program of the applying institute.
    Members must at all times be able to provide generally accepted documents indicating compliance with the membership requirements.
    The Board decides upon admission of ordinary members. It may expel affiliates that act against the Associations' objectives or interests.
  3. Natural persons can become ordinary members in case where a formal membership for an institution such as a university or state research centre is not feasible. In such cases, the personal activities of an ordinary member must be committed to organic food quality and health to a very high degree. The membership must be clearly linked to research activities of an institution which is in compliance with point 2.

Supporting members

  1. Supporting members are legal or natural persons who have undertaken to pay a minimum annual contribution to be set by the General Meeting, and have been admitted as such by the Board. 
  2. Affiliation as supporting member is open to organisations including but not limited to farmers, producers, processors, traders, consumers, nutrition and health workers, as well as those engaged in research, education, training, consulting, certifying, promoting and advocacy.
  3. Supporting members must actively pursue the Association's objectives. The Board may expel affiliates that act against the Association's objectives or interests. 
  4. Students as natural persons can become a supporting member upon transmission of their student registration documents to the Board.

1.2 Admission procedure

Members will have to submit their application forms to the FQH secretariat. The secretariat will pass on the application to the board members who will have to vote within 2 weeks.

The board may ask extra information from the applying member.

Applying research members need at least one positive reference from a founding FQH research member.

The member will be informed of registration within a total of 4 weeks after application.

In case of rejection the FQH board will provide arguments to the applying member through the secretariat.

After having received the membership fee the member is formally listed as an FQH member.

1.3 Membership fees and payment


Ordinary members

  • 2.500 Euro launching fee in year 2003
  • 1.000 Euro per year from 2004 onwards

All ordinary members will receive a password to have access to the intranet site of the FQH web site.

Supporting members 

a) profit organizations (may be called sponsoring members) 

Basic membership fee is 250 Euro per year.

Including a sponsorship fee total contribution can be:

  • 6.000 Euro per year platinum member- and sponsorship
  • 3.000 Euro per year golden member- and sponsorship 
  • 1.500 Euro per year silver member- and sponsorship 
  • 500 Euro per year green member- and sponsorship

Launching member will commit to pay this contribution for 3 years from 2003 onwards.

The sponsor money will be used for:

  • publishing the company's logo on the FQH main brochure
  • free entrance for sponsor's officers to FQH conferences (platinum member: 3 free tickets, golden: 2 free tickets: silver: 1 free ticket)
  • password to have acces to the intranet site of the FQH web site

b) non-profit organizations (can only be called supporters)

Basic membership fee is 250 Euro per year.

With extra gift total contribution can be:

  • 1.500 Euro per year platinum supporter 
  • 1.000 Euro per year golden supporter
  • 500 Euro per year silver supporter
  • 250 Euro per year green supporter

Launching member will commit to pay the contribution for 3 years from 2003 onwards. Supporting member from non- profit organization will receive:
password to have access to the intranet site of the FQH web-site.

Payment procedures

Every member receives an invoice according to the indicated fee. The fee will have to be transferred in Euro to the FQH bank account in the Netherlands within 4 weeks after having received the invoice.

Reminder invoices will only be sent once. 

Application for registration in the first half year will result in an annual fee. Application in the second half will result in half the annual fee.

1.4 Termination of membership

A member that wishes to end its membership has to inform the chairperson or coordinator before November 1 of the running membership year in accordance with the by-laws.

Launching members commit themselves for a 3 year membership as of 2003.

Members who have not paid their fee after being reminded will be expelled and name or logo will be removed from FQH brochures. Password giving access to the FQH intranet will be blocked.

2 Board and secretariat

2.1 Board

The board will have its secretariat located with one of the members. The board may ask the member institute to appoint a coordinator to run the secretariat. The respective member institute will charge the association with related costs. 

The board is responsible for the performance and output of the secretariat. The board will appoint one board member as a contact for daily executive decisions by the secretariat.

The Board may call for meetings by use of telephone.

2.2 Task of the secretariat

  • prepare agenda and minutes of board and Assembly meetings w. chairperson of board
  • coordinate the development and maintenance of web-site and printed materials
  • receive and process correspondence to and from association
  • handle member and membership fee administration
  • coordinate Scientific Advisory Committee (S.A.C.) activities towards board and research-members
  • represent the association in daily affairs
  • produce 4 weekly newsletters to board members
  • handle bookkeeping and transactions up to max. of 200 Euro per month
  • cooperate and delegate administrative tasks
  • report to and consult with board members 

Optional tasks:

  • prepare and follow up with funding and sponsoring requests for the association's operating costs.
  • under separate assignment seek funding for special FQH research projects.
  • under separate assignment organise international FQH scientific conferences.

3 Scientific Advisory Committee (S.A.C.)

Note: the role and task of the S.A.C. will be studied again once the FQH conceptual research framework is defined in February 2004.

3.1 Organization

The S.A.C. is an advisory body in the FQH Association that helps the board to control the scientific standards of FQH.

S.A.C. includes 4-7 members with at least one representative from each of the 4 research institution-members. The members are appointed by the board. Rotation of the chairperson is discussed in S.A.C. every year. The chairman calls for a meeting twice a year and prepares the agenda.

The chairman draws the conclusions and reports them to the board. The board can overrule, but needs to give arguments.

Within the S.A.C. it aims to make decisions with a consensus, but a majority of votes is required. If votes are equally divided, the chairperson decides.

The S.A.C. starts with 3 years of work, so that proceedings of the expected FQH conference in 2004 can be finished at the latest in 2005.

The S.A.C. can ask external experts to review research proposals and reports.

3.2 Tasks

1. Formulating research questions and research lines necessary to develop knowledge for reaching the goals of FQH.

2. Reviewing of research proposals and reports using the following criteria: 

The proposals must meet the research scope and relate to questions of organic food quality and health.

In case the research project applies not-generally accepted (experimental) parameters and non-validated methods are used, they must be compared with relevant generally accepted parameters and validated analytical methods.

Proposals should be written in English and must include: 

  • background 
  • justification 
  • reference to other food quality, nutrition and/or health projects and relevant scientific literature (state of the art)
  • aim
  • exp
  • expected deliverables
  • methods and techniques
  • time schedule
  • required personnel and equipment
  • interaction or co-operation with researchers elsewhere
  • users and application of results
  • publications
  • budget specifications including costs of participants
  • funding agencies or sponsors approached
  • summary of proposal (1 page) 

3. Reviewing draft reports submitted for publication in the FQH report series.

Reports in the FQH series are written in English or bilingual.

The criteria for publication are formulated using the format of Evaluation of FQH-projects and reports as described under 2.

In case of a research project that relates to agricultural products, background data on agronomic and cultural methods and conditions for storage and transport, as well as the parts of the produce used for analyses should be specified. 

The same refers to health studies involving human beings or animals: relevant data on background (eg. age, diet and lifestyle) should be included.

An FQH publication should carry the FQH logo on the front cover.

4. Preparation of scientific FQH meetings or conferences including: 

  • Formulation of themes such as food quality concepts with relation to growing conditions and health, quality indices, plant and animal product quality, experimental design to develop concepts, experimental design for nutritional and medical research questions.
  • Review inputs (lecture, poster, articles) and endorse them before presentation at a scientific conference or meeting. 
  • Edit proceedings of scientific conferences or meetings focusing on quality of scientific content. 

3.3 Procedures

  • Questions from the Board and response of S.A.C. goes through the FQH chairperson or coordinator.
  • Review of research proposals and reports is carried out by 3 of the 4 S.A.C. members, chosen on basis of presence and excluding a representative with a stake in the research under review.
    The results of the review are written in an evaluation form (in preparation) and sent by email to the chairperson of the S.A.C., when absent, to the vice-chairperson. The (vice) chairperson formulates the conclusions and advice and forwards this to the FQH chairperson or coordinator. S.A.C. can ask advice of an external expert.
    It takes 3 weeks for advice and 4 weeks when an external expert is consulted.
  • The FQH chairperson or coordinator reports the conclusion of the S.A.C. to the board and requests a consent within 1 week from at least 3/4 of the Board members
  • The FQH chairperson or coordinator presents the decision to the submitter of the proposal or draft report.
  • Review of FQH publications or articles will follow the same procedure, however the period is 2 months before the author will receive the board's response.


June 2003