About WWOOF organisations worldwide.

All the official WWOOF sites can be found under http://www.wwoof.net/

 Please note as of 1st September members of WWOOF Italia will no longer have access to the WWIND (WWOOF independents) list included in their membership, people who have joined before that date will continue to have this access until their WWOOF Italia membership expires.

 Why is there a Federation of WWOOF Organisations (FoWO) and an International WWOOF Association (IWA)? What is the difference?

For more than forty years WWOOF has spread from country to country in a very organic way, with each new group being independently owned and operated, yet being part of a larger network.

There was no formal organisation to represent the interests of WWOOF worldwide – or to answer the myriad of requests sent to “head office” from journalists, potential co-ordinators, volunteer groups or other organisations ... or indeed to respond to the occasional complaint.

Instead two portal websites were created – one operated by WWOOF UK – and the other by WWOOF New Zealand (on behalf of a collective of several other WWOOF groups including: France, Japan, and Australia ). Both these sites primarily signposted people to WWOOF in their country of interest or origin. They also provided a listing service for host farms in countries where there was no national WWOOF group – otherwise known as Independents.

Whilst this system served many adequately for a long time – it has not always been effective and has certainly caused confusion for many. As the internet has expanded and global trading intensified so the pressure to resolve these issues has mounted.

In September 2011 at an international conference for WWOOF groups in Korea a resolution was passed to create a Federation – an organisation that could unite, promote, protect and support the WWOOF movement around the world. It would be a way for WWOOF groups to come together and cooperate, to share common responsibilities including the management of one combined portal website as well as managing a single (unified) Independents list.

The Federation's establishment involved more than 18 months of discussion and negotiation between parties within the WWOOF movement from across the world – and was finally incorporated in March 2013 (www.wwoof.net).

As well as the various practical functions performed by the FoWO, such as addressing trademarking issues, helping to legalize and protect the WWOOF movement, some of the main objects of this umbrella organisation are to support and promote the various existing national organisations by providing these with a previously non-existent coordinative network. Member countries are now regularly communicating between each other and sharing precious knowledge and informations for the development of this steadily growing movement.

However some countries were not satisfied with all the agreements and the speed of the procedure in the unifcation and pulled out of the agreement. They continue to operate their own separate organisation – the IWA - and regrettably to this day the two independent host listings have not been amalgamated. FoWO continues to communicate with the IWA and strives to reach a mutual understanding that will provide a unified worldwide WWOOF Federation.

FoWO currently has the support of over 40 members countries whilst the IWA has 4. The FoWO should therefore be considered the first port of call for all WWOOF related enquiries. Current active sites fully supported by FoWO are www.wwoof.net as well as www.wwoofindependents.org.

 

 

 

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