WORRIED tackle suppliers have forced the organisers of this year’s EFTTEX show in London to shelve controversial plans to allow retailers to exhibit.

A survey by the Angling Trade Association and Tackle & Guns revealed that many in the UK industry were unhappy that such a proposal had originally been given the go ahead in the summer.

But when the findings were presented to the board of directors of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association recently, the board decided to suspend the earlier decision, which allowed retailers to become full members of the organisation with the right to exhibit at the show.

Although the plan has been put on hold for the 2004 event at London’s ExCel venue from July 2nd to 4th, it will be formally discussed further during that event so that a final decision for the future can be taken.

Whatever happens, retailers will still be accepted for the supporting member category (non voting/non exhibiting) and manufacturers of fishing tackle machinery are still eligible for the full member category giving them the right to exhibit at EFTTEX.

A spokesman for EFTTA said: “The resolution passed at the June 2003 Extraordinary General Assembly was required so retailers could apply to become EFTTA members, ensuring that all companies visiting EFTTEX could become members.

“The board of directors of EFTTA believes that it is of vital importance for the membership to be enlarged and that every effort should be made to increase interest in the EFTTEX show for exhibitors and visitors.

“The policy for admitting retailers to EFTTEX will be re-addressed at the next AGA with a formal resolution to reverse the decision made at this year’s EGA.”

EFTTA board member Gregg Holloway presented the survey results on behalf of the ATA. He said: “I went to the board meeting representing the UK tackle trade and was armed with the ATA/ T&G survey.

“It was clear we needed to look at this again otherwise the ATA would impose an extraordinary general meeting as it had 10 per cent support for its call.

“We would allow retailers to become members of EFTTA and receive various benefits but would have no exhibiting or voting rights. We feel the retailers play a vital role in the sale and distribution of tackle and to get them involved is important.

“The issue will be raised at next year’s AGA to endorse what we have agreed.

“It looks as though EFTTEX at London will be a big show and a good show but retailers won’t be allowed to exhibit. It is a very cost-effective show in terms of getting there and hotel accommodation onsite and we are looking forward to a positive show.”

ATA chairman Roger Smith said: “I am delighted with the outcome, that the initiative by the ATA and Tackle & Guns to have the discussion reopened has been successful, resulting in the board of EFTTA recognising what the tackle trade actually wants.”


Tackle and Guns