Message from the President:
This Annual Report marks a time of many changes in RAFI. By the time the next report rolls around, the organization will have a new name and logo and new offices in Winnipeg, Canada. RAFI – by whatever name – will also have a new President. We give up the name “RAFI” with considerable misgiving. RAFI traces its history back to a meeting of international civil society food activists that took place in Canada in 1977. It was then that Cary Fowler, Hope Shand, and Pat Mooney began working together on the “seeds” issue. The name “RAFI”, however, was not adopted until Pat Mooney formally joined Hope and Cary in the Rural Advancement Fund in 1984, and then incorporated the Rural Advancement Foundation International in 1985. It has been “RAFI” ever since.
The name change comes about because RAFI – incorporated in the Netherlands and in Canada – is also incorporating in the United States for charitable tax purposes. In the eyes of government, RAFI’s name is too close to that of our oldest and dearest ally in the United States – RAFI-USA. For more than a decade now, RAFI and RAFI-USA have worked together very closely, and RAFI-USA has accepted fiduciary responsibility for some grants made for our common work in the United States.
Together, RAFI and RAFI-USA have concluded that it is time for RAFI to obtain its own legal status in the USA. As part of the transition process, Hope Shand moved from her post at RAFI-USA to formally join RAFI in January of 2000. Now the time has come to give RAFI a new name, one that will not confuse our backers in that country.