September 01, 2011
Update: Industry Support from Direct Selling Associations Around the Globe
by Teresa Day
Organizations Oversee Ethics and Consumer Practices for the Good of All
Global Events—Upcoming Meetings:
2011 Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling, Warsaw, Poland
WFDSA Regional Conference
The vast distances that used to keep us within our own national borders shrink more and more every year with technological advances, bringing us closer together as a global community. For direct selling companies and their independent business owners this developing community presents more opportunities for sharing best practices among company leaders.
One of our goals here at Direct Selling News is to facilitate these connections and contribute to the sharing of ideas among our global colleagues, both for the benefit of companies already in operation in global markets as well as for those considering expansion.
Direct Selling Associations Around the World
The U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the U.S. national trade association of the direct selling industry. Many countries across the globe have established their own Direct Selling Associations with the same goals to “protect, serve and promote” the member companies and their independent contractors.
These associations work to ensure that companies and consumers are protected from unethical business practices, and that local governments understand the importance and economic contributions of the industry within their nation.
The first national direct selling associations in Europe were created in the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. In 1968, these associations founded a federation, under the name of Fédération de la Vente et du Service à Domicile or FEVSD. Then it was named FEDSA, the Federation of European Direct Selling Associations. Today, the organization is known as SELDIA and represents 27 national DSAs of which 22 are European Union (EU) member states, and it is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
SELDIA, along with approximately 57 additional national DSAs, have joined another global organization known as the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA). Founded in 1978, WFDSA is not made up of individual companies, although board representatives typically do come from member companies. Membership in the federation allows each association to be represented on the WFDSA Board of Directors, currently led by Chairman Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin Enterprises. The board meets once per year, usually in conjunction with the U.S. DSA’s annual meeting.
WFDSA’s mission is to build understanding and support for direct selling worldwide by:
- Promoting ethical standards
- Advocating with governments, media and key influencers
- Serving as a resource
- Facilitating interaction among industry executives on important topics
Additionally, CEOs can join the WFDSA CEO Council, which acts as the primary decision-making group of WFDSA. The CEO Council sets the Federation’s policies, approves the budget and directs the program of work.
WFDSA requires each member association to develop a national code of ethics to protect the consumers and salepeople from abuse, with the minimum standard established in the WFDSA World Codes of Conduct. WFDSA supports Direct Selling Associations in individual nations by providing instruction on efficient and proper management of a DSA and how associations may better serve their members through global, regional and national seminars and other educational offerings.
Here at Direct Selling News, we’ll continue to focus on the great aspects of our industry, both here in the United States and on the global stage. In our October issue, we’ll bring you an in-depth look at the Direct Selling Education Foundation and its work on behalf of the industry.